Rio Tinto copper head sees supplies running short by 2020s

|By:, SA News Editor

The copper market will slip into a deficit in the 2020s after being in balance for rest of this decade, as technological change drives demand for copper and its byproducts, Rio Tinto’s (RIO +0.8%) copper chief says.

“Tightening supply and solid demand are combining to produce a positive pricing environment," says Arnaud Soirat, Rio's head of copper and diamonds.

Chile, the biggest copper producing country, and the mining industry have a challenge to meet demand, Soirat says, as the world transitions to electric vehicles and a more electrified economy.

LME copper rose 31% in 2017 but has struggled to maintain gains this year, reflecting the realization that increased consumption from new technologies such as electric vehicles is still in the future.


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