Earlier this year, Rio Tinto executives and Mongolian officials announced the commissioning of the Oyu Tolgoi underground copper mine, Mining.com reported, citing Bloomberg News.
Doug Kirwin, a geologist who worked on the site early, believes that "we will not be able to meet the copper demand necessary for the energy transition and net zero emissions in the next 10 years.
This is impossible”, “not enough copper deposits have been discovered or developed”.
There are not as many new mines, fewer large copper mines, and the result is a shortage.
BloombergNEF predicts that demand for copper will grow by 53% by 2040, but mine supply will only increase by 16%.
A looming shortage of the green metal incentivised Glencore to buy Teck Resources, long a high-profile copper target. Newmont, the largest gold miner, bought Australian mining giant Newcrest Mining Ltd, which could increase gold reserves and also increase copper production capacity.
BHP has just completed the acquisition of Oz Minerals, which is BHP's largest acquisition in 10 years.
Although these mergers and acquisitions are successful, it will not change the balance of global copper supply and demand.