Good news for Chile. The price of the country's main export, copper, reached this week its highest international value in eight years and nine months, at US$ 3,81 the pound, according to the latest reports from the London Metal Exchange.
Chile’s copper production will likely rise by 0.6% to 5.82 million tons in 2020, state copper commission Cochilco said on Monday, and to 5.99 million tons in 2021. Cochilco estimated that the copper price will average US$ 2.75 per pound in 2020, before rising to US$ 2.90 per pound in 2021.
Chile’s world-leading copper industry will see investment lag for at least two years as the country rewrites a constitution that underpinned nearly three decades of mining growth in the South American nation.
Chile's State-owned miner Codelco, the world's largest copper producer, on Friday reported a 86% increase in its profit for the first nine months of the year on Friday, to US$1,124 billion, amid an increase in production.
Shanghai copper hit its highest in nearly 25 months on Monday, while London copper scaled a 24-month high, on supply worries from top producer Chile due to a potential strike at a mine.
Copper raced to its highest levels since January this week as speculators piled into the market, betting on further disruptions in top producer Chile and firm demand from the biggest consumer China.
Chile's Codelco has halted work on a multibillion-dollar project to extend the life of its El Teniente mine as the copper producer strives to slow the spread of the coronavirus disease through its workforce, the state-owned mining company said.
Chilean copper miner Codelco said on Thursday it was suspending refinery and foundry operations at its sprawling Chuquicamata division to prevent further spread of the new coronavirus.
Chilean copper miners' unions called on Sunday for a re-evaluation of the operational continuity plans of the country's biggest miners during what they said was an alarming increase in coronavirus cases among workers.
The global copper market is headed for a surplus of between 200,000-300,000 tons in 2020, the head of the miner Antofagasta told Chilean media, with operation halts at some mines offsetting depressed demand due to the coronavirus pandemic.