Views: 2 Author: Site Editor Publish Time: 2020-12-23 Origin: Site
The latest report of Fitch Solutions, a global consulting agency, predicts that global copper mine production will grow at an average annual rate of 3.7% from 2021 to 2029, and total output will increase from 21.5 million tons to 27.8 million tons during the same period.
Market analysts predict that due to the launch of multiple new projects and the shutdown caused by the covid-19 pandemic, production will decrease in 2020, and the low base effect will cause copper production to increase by 6.9% year-on-year.
The “top hero” leading this growth is Chile, the world’s largest copper producer. For example, BHP Billiton’s Spence expansion project is expected to deliver the first batch of products between December 2020 and March 2021. Once the business is increased, it will increase the payable copper output by 185,000 tons per year.
Fitch’s forecast also takes into account the return of most workers to the Escondida mine, although BHP Billiton has stated that due to the decline in labor levels, production will be lower than before the epidemic in fiscal 2022.
The report said: “However, the resumption of work by workers will bring copper output back to the normal range. The company maintains copper output at an average of about 1.2 million tons per year. In addition, it depends on when the aforementioned Spence expansion project will finally start production and It can be increased to its full-load production speed, and we expect it will also make a positive contribution to growth in 2022."
In addition, if Lundin Mining can reach a friendly settlement with its Chilean labor union before the end of the year, production in 2021 will not be affected. Lundin predicts that by 2021, the output of Candelaria's copper mine will be between 185,000 tons and 195,000 tons, which is higher than the 142,000 tons in 2019 and is expected to be higher than the output in 2020.
Fitch said that the growth beyond 2021 will benefit from the delayed restart of Teck Resources' Quebrada Blanca Phase II project, which is expected to start production in the second half of 2022.
Due to the covid-19 pandemic, project development was delayed for five to six months, but then restarted. The company now estimates that copper production for the first five years averaged 286,000 tons per year.
All these developments led Fitch to raise its forecasts for 2022 and 2023 to 4% and 3.2% from the previous 2.9% and 1.9% respectively.
In addition to Chile, Peru will also contribute to the growth of global copper production. Fitch expects that due to the strong low base effect and the launch of new projects, its copper mine production outlook will rebound strongly in 2021, with a year-on-year growth of 20%.
Peru currently has 48 mining projects at various stages of development and 54 exploration projects. The report stated: “As of 2019, Peru’s copper reserves are the second largest in the world, accounting for 10% of known reserves. We believe that Chinese investment will play an increasingly important role in Peru’s copper industry. Mining companies are Seek a diversified supply chain to compensate for China’s domestic consumption exceeding its supply."
According to official information, Chinese companies are expected to invest US$10.2 billion in five mining projects in Peru in the next ten years.
The report also predicts that China's copper production will grow at an average rate of 1.5% per year from 2021 to 2029, compared with an average growth rate of 4.6% over the past ten years. The slowdown in output growth will be attributed to the closure of low-grade copper mines and the delay in planned capacity expansion.
Despite this prospect, with the launch of new projects and as China develops foreign assets to improve its resource security, it is expected that "Chinese copper miners will continue to invest in overseas copper mines to ensure high-grade , Low-cost materials."
On the other hand, Kamoa-Kakula will become one of the largest contributors to the growth of the copper industry in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Following a 3.5% contraction in 2020, its copper production is expected to increase year-on-year by 2021. %.
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