Miners Gather in Copper Capital Facing ‘Another World’ of Tumult – by James Attwood (Bloomberg News – March 2022)


(Bloomberg) — The last time the copper industry gathered in Santiago, prices were below $3 a pound amid concerns over a slowdown in Chinese demand, and there was little talk of supply-chain woes or inflation.

Now the executives, bankers and traders drifting in to the Chilean capital for the first in-person version of the Cesco-CRU event in the pandemic era are facing an entirely different set of circumstances.

Sure, mines are raking in the cash with prices now closer to $5. But commodity markets are in a state of flux as Russia’s war in Ukraine exacerbates supply-line frailties exposed by the reopening of economies. For so-called battery metals like copper, an acceleration in electric-vehicle demand adds another layer of tightness as the world tries to wean itself off fossil fuels.

All that should unleash a wave of new investments after a decade and a half of penny pinching triggered by the global financial crisis. But societies have grown much more demanding and costs are surging, making new mines trickier and pricier to build.

For the rest of this article: https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/miners-gather-in-copper-capital-facing-another-world-of-tumult-1.1744075