SHANGHAI, Feb 13 (SMM) – Strikes are expected to be the biggest factor affecting copper ore supply in 2018, with 30 labour negotiations already planned this year in Chile alone.
In addition, such negotiation at Escondida scheduled in August and a share transfer programme at Grasberg would also create uncertainties over output at the world’s two largest copper mines.
Following a decrease in copper ore supply in 2017, SMM forecast a 3.3% output growth this year contributed mainly by First Quantum’s Cobre Panama mine and Southern Copper’s Toquepala mine.
Other factors including new and expanding smelting capacities in China and the country’s copper scrap import restrictions would also be key to watch out for this year.
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