The copper market has cooled since touching record levels above $10,000 a tonne in May, but longer-term fundamentals for the bellwether metal remain bullish thanks to a global effort to electrify transport and shift to renewable power generation.
While there is consensus on demand growth, the supply side outlook is murky. Some 40% of the world’s copper production is controlled by just two countries – Chile and Peru – and political developments in South America are turning the tide against copper miners, Freeport-McMoRan CEO Rich Adkerson told investors in a conference call on Wednesday.
Adkerson, top tier copper mining’s longest serving CEO, said the task of increasing copper supply is getting harder as environmental groups and local communities refuse to grant miners a so-called social licence to operate and politicians seek a bigger share of industry profits: “That’s just the reality around the world today.”
In Chile, Freeport is deferring a decision on a major project until it gets further political clarity, Adkerson said, according to a Bloomberg report, adding that even the investor-friendly US has proven reluctant to green-lighting new mines.
For the rest of this article: https://www.mining.com/politics-turning-against-copper-mining-freeports-adkerson/