By Paul Ploumis 15 Jul 2015 Last updated at 03:14:05 GMT
BRUSSELS (Scrap Monster): The latest bi-annual report released by the International Copper Study Group (ICSG) predicts strong growth to global copper mine production during the upcoming years.
The world copper mine output is expected to post an annual growth rate of 6% to touch 27.5 million mt per year in 2018. The trade group foresees that concentrate production will account for nearly 84% of the growth, whereas the balance 16% will be represented by growth in solvent-extraction/electroextraction capacities.
During the three year period from 2015 to 2018, the concentrate production capacity is expected to grow 6.5% per annum to touch 21.8 million mt per year in 2018. The solvent-extraction/electroextraction capacity is expected to grow at 4.5% per annum to reach 5.7 million mt per year in 2018.
ICSG has revised the mine production capacity for 2017 and 2018 when compared with the earlier estimates published during the month of January this year. The forecasted mine production for 2017 and 2018 has been lowered by 330,000 mt and 140,000 mt respectively. ICSG has cited larger-than-expected delays at many copper mine projects as the primary reason for the output estimate downgrade.
Capacity additions and expansions in Peru will account for 26% of world mine capacity growth through 2018. The other contributors to capacity growth during this period would be Zambia, Mexico, Mongolia, China and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. These six countries together will account for 66% of the growth, ICSG noted.
The rest of the growth will come through planned mining projects in other countries such as Afghanistan, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Fiji, Greece, Israel, Panama, Sudan and Thailand. The copper production capacity from tehse countries are expected to touch 150,000 mt per year by 2018.
The copper smelter growth is projected at 3% per year to reach 22.5 million mt per year in 2018. China will be the main driver of smelter capacity growth, accounting for 60% of the growth in smelting capacity. The Chinese copper smelting capacity is expected to grow by 1.6 million mt per year by 2018. Also, global copper refinery capacity is expected to reach 30.2 million mt per year in 2018.