The International Copper Study Group (ICSG) has released its copper market forecast for 2020-21 and expects this year will mark the second consecutive year of decline in world copper mine production.
After a drop of 0.2% in 2019, the ICSG anticipates that global copper mine production will fall by about 1.5% this year, before growing by about 4.5% next year.
The forecast is in line with estimates from Colin Hamilton, a mining analyst at BMO Capital Markets. The London-based analyst has projected a 1.7% reduction of worldwide copper mine production in 2020, with production rising by 4.1% in 2021.
The decline in 2019 was mainly due to operational issues, in particular in Indonesia, ICGS said, while this year’s drop is due primarily to temporary mine closures caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, most notably in Peru.
Lower copper production in 2020, however, will be partially offset by additional output from newly commissioned mines, ICGS said, including Russian Copper Company’s Tominskoye mine and the Deziwa copper-cobalt mine in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), which went into production in January. Deziwa is a joint-venture between the DRC’s state-owned Gecamines and China Nonferrous Metal Mining Company.
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