Red metal rising: Argentina sets lofty sights on global copper top 10 – by Lucila Sigal (Reuters – May 8, 2023)

BUENOS AIRES, May 8 (Reuters) – Argentina, known better for its Malbec than its mining, has its sights set on becoming a top ten copper producer by 2030, with an investor friendly stance luring global players like Glencore (GLEN.L) and Lundin Mining (LUN.TO) to its mountainous north.

The South American country has a pipeline of copper projects that could produce 793,000 tonnes a year by the end of the decade, government forecasts show, well below neighboring No. 1 producer Chile but near big players like Australia and Zambia.

While a lofty goal – Argentina produces no copper currently after its last working mine closed in 2018 – it could position the country as an important new supplier as demand globally for the metal rises along a global electrification push.

Leading the way is Lundin Mining’s Josemaria project in northern San Juan province, aiming to produce over 130,000 tonnes a year and that is a pre-construction phase. Behind that in the queue are Glencore’s $4.5 billion El Pachón; MARA, owned by Yamana Gold Inc (AUYN.MX), Glencore and Newmont Corp (NEM.N); First Quantum Minerals Ltd’s (FM.TO) Taca Taca and McEwen Mining’s (MUX.TO) Los Azules.

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