LONDON, Sep 06, 2010 (Dow Jones Commodities News via Comtex) -- Copper mine production capacity should grow at an average of 4.4% a year to reach 24.2 million metric tons in 2014, the International Copper Study Group said.
Based on existing facilities and announced project developments, mine output should increase by about 24%, or 4.7 million tons, in 2014 from 2009, the ICSG said.
The group forecasts copper in concentrate capacity to increase by 3.8 million tons, or 4.7%, a year to reach 19 million tons.
Most of the new mine projects and expansions are in Brazil, Chile, Congo, Mongolia, Peru, the U.S. and Zambia, which together account for around 72%, or 3.4 million tons, of the projected increase in mine capacity for the period, the ICSG said.
The ICSG forecasts annual smelter capacity to grow by an average of 2.6% a year to reach 20.7 million tons in 2014, an increase of 2.5 million tons, or 14%, from 2009 capacity.
Asia will be the leading contributor to growth, accounting for 2.3 million tons, with expansion and new projects expected mostly in China, but also in India and Iran.
Africa is the second leading contributor owing to developments in Zambia, while North American smelting capacity will fall by about 10% due to closures of plants in Canada.
World copper refinery capacity will reach 27.8 million tons in 2014, an increase of 4.2 million tons, or 17.8%, from 2009, the ICSG forecasts.
About one half, or 2.2 million tons, of the world refinery capacity increase during this period is expected to come from electrolytic refineries in China; about 23%, or 1 million tons, from electrolytic capacity increases in India, Indonesia and Iran; and about 17%, or 720,000 tons, from electrowinning capacity increases in Congo, Peru and Zambia, the ICSG said.