The world is poised on the edge of a new copper supercycle – Tom Stevenson (The Telegraph – May 2, 2024)

Key growth sectors have an insatiable appetite for the conductive metal

In the 1967 coming-of-age classic, The Graduate, the young protagonist played by Dustin Hoffman is given some advice by a friend of his parents: “I want to say one word to you….plastics….there’s a great future in plastics.”

If the film were remade today, I suspect the word would be different. The key commodity in the next few decades is likely to be a soft, malleable and ductile red metal with high thermal and electrical conductivity. Today’s graduates might be advised to think about a future in copper.

Think about today’s growth sectors – renewable energy generation, electric vehicles, AI – and the one thing they all have in common is an insatiable appetite for copper. To take one example, it requires three times as much copper to generate the same amount of electricity on a solar farm as in a gas-fired power station. Nearly eight times as much using offshore wind.

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