The World Has a New No. 2 Copper Supplier – by Marcelo Rochabrun and Michael J. Kavanagh (Bloomberg News – June 1, 2023)

(Bloomberg) — The Democratic Republic of Congo displaced Peru as the second-biggest copper exporter last year, official data from the two countries show, in a changing of the guard for the mining industry.

While the numbers used in the chart below refer to shipments rather than production, the shift in positions underscores a couple of important trends. Firstly, an up-tick in social unrest and political uncertainties are constraining investment in South America, as more money flows into Africa’s rich ore-bodies.

Peru had sat comfortably as the biggest copper producer and exporter after neighboring Chile for years thanks to a wave of projects earlier this century that has largely dried up. In recent years, political upheaval and community protests have helped keep the country’s copper exports fairly flat.

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