The global copper industry needs to spend more than $100 billion to build mines able to close what could be an annual supply deficit of 4.7 million tonnes by 2030, Erik Heimlich, head of base metals supply at CRU said this week.
Speaking at the 2022 CRU World Copper Conference held in Santiago, Chile, the analyst said the supply gap for the next decade is estimated at six million tonnes per year, as the clean energy and electric vehicles sectors ramp up.
This means the world would need to build eight projects the size of BHP’s (ASX: BHP) Escondida in Chile, the world’s largest copper mine, over the next eight years. Such task, Heimlich said, seems questionable – “possible” rather than “probable”, given the bigger scale developments required and the fact that about half the projects in the pipeline are greenfield.
“Historically, the completion rates of these projects have been low. A large share of the greenfield possible projects in 2012 remain under-developed so there are questions about the ability to respond to the supply gap in an efficient and timely manner,” he said, as reported by Mining Journal.
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