That means miners will have to go to more difficult jurisdictions such as Russia and parts of the copper belt in central Africa to find new mines, and that will need higher prices to offset the risk, Glasenberg said at the FT’s Global Boardroom summit on Thursday.
“We don’t have many shovel-ready projects,” Glasenberg said. “You will need higher prices. You will need the so-called $15,000 copper price to encourage a lot of this more difficult investment.”
The largest miners have been universally bullish on copper, holding a long-term view that usage in cities and electric vehicles will expand demand, while new supplies of the metal are constrained. Yet, there are a few major mines in development, and none on the scale required to meet forecasts for future demand.