SHANGHAI, Mar. 11 (SMM) – According to Bloomberg news March 6, Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc may double sales of copper concentrate to China in the next 3 years as mined production expands, Mr Javier Targhetta, the company's senior vice president of marketing and sales said.
Freeport is the world's second largest copper producer.
Mr Targhetta said in the interview in Madrid March 6 that sales to China may reach 800,000 mt-1 million mt by 2016, up more than 500,000 mt from level this year. The company's concentrate sales to China have grown 10 times since 2005.
“We hope to significantly increase sales to China in the coming three years. We are one of the ones increasing our mined production. Certainly the Chinese market is a good one for us to place part of new concentrate that we will be producing”, said Targhetta in the meeting held by Metal Bulletin in Madrid.
Barclays Plc said February 15 that China will increase copper concentrate imports by 17% this year, absorbing some expected growth in mine supply. Freeport in January estimated copper sales this year at 4.3 billion pounds (1.95 million mt) from 3.66 billion pounds in 2012. China is moving its import requirements toward copper concentrate from refined metal. Citigroup Inc said March 4 that China is moving its import requirements from refined metal toward copper concentrate.
Credit Suisse Group AG said in a report in January that copper concentrate supply at mines will increase by 1.9 million mt this year, 11% of last year's output. According to this report, increase in output should mainly come from Rio Tinto Group's Oyu Tolgoi mining project in Mongolia, Xstrata's Antapaccay copper project in Peru, as well as Vale's Salobo copper mine in Brazil.
Freeport said copper concentrate output at its Atlantic Copper smelter in Spain was 1.03 million mt, and copper cathode output reached 274,000 mt. Targhetta, the president of the smelter, said the factory will be closed for 60 days in early September, the unit maintenance for the fist time in eight years, which will reduce copper cathode output by about 15% this year.
Chile's Codelco is the world's No.1 copper producer.