Global copper deficit to reach 8 million tonnes by 2032

Global copper deficit to reach 8 million tonnes by 2032

Codelco, the world’s largest copper producer, warned on Thursday that global shortages of the metal may reach eight million tonnes by 2032, as new projects can’t catch up with soaring demand.


Maximo Pacheco, Chairman of the Board of Codelco, said at an industry conference that while a surplus is expected in the short term thanks to new projects in Chile, Peru, Congo and Tibet, medium to long-term demand will eclipse supply further down the line. Pacheco’s comments echo the views of several analysts, who predict a supply gap for the next decade estimated at six million tonnes per year. They attribute the upcoming deficit to a ramp up in the clean energy and EV sectors. Based on studies conducted by Chile’s state copper miner, the world would need to build eight new projects the size of BHP’s Escondida in Chile, the world’s largest copper mine, over the next eight years.

Why it matters

The world’s energy transition to stop climate change will take demand for copper from 25 million tonnes per year to just over 31 million tonnes by 2032. “If new mining projects do not come into operation,” Pacheco warned, “the imbalance between supply and demand will begin to be noticed during the second half of this decade, in 2026.” icon

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