Saturday, April 12, 2008

Copper demand to double; Chile's production at risk

Rio Tinto's chief executive for copper, Bret Clayton is reported to say that the company's internal forecast indicates copper consumption will double over the next two decades. He was speaking at the World Copper Conference in Chile. [right: conference center in Santiago. CRU Group]

Meanwhile, a report out yesterday says the La Nina is causing the worst drought in a century in Chile, leading the government to consider cutting electricity to the nation's mines. According to the report, 45-70% of electricity for the mines in central and southern Chile comes from hydroelectric power. Phoenix-based Freeport-McMoRan Copper and Gold is one of the mining companies in the region. Chile is the world's largest exporter of copper.

Copper futures closed the week at $3.94 per pound after going over $4 earlier in the week.

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