Peru to welcome US$15bn in copper mining projects from 2013-2015
Comment of the Day

August 20 2013

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

Peru to welcome US$15bn in copper mining projects from 2013-2015

This article by Dorothy Kosich for Mineweb may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section
Peru's Minister of Energy and Mines Jorge Merino Tafur said $15 billion in mining project programs are now underway that will raise Peru's copper production by 1.3 million to 2.8 million tonnes by 2016.

These projects are scheduled to commence operations between 2014 and the first half of 2015, he noted.

Among these projects are Chinalco's $4.8 billion Toromocho Copper Project in Peru's Junin region with production scheduled to begin in December; Glencore/Xstrata's $5.2 billion Las Bambas copper project in the Cusco Region, scheduled to commence production in May or June of 2015; and the $5 billion expansion of Freeport-McMoRan's Cerro Verde copper mining joint venture, which is slated to start production by 2015.

Merino noted that the country has other great projects like Southern Copper's Tia Maria, the long-delayed Tambogrande gold project, Anglo American's Quellaveco and Michiquillay copper projects, Rio Tinto's La Granja Copper Project and other polymetallic deposits, which he suggested should be exploited to bring more development around the country.

Eoin Treacy's view The Oyo Tolgoi mine came online in the last few months, bringing to fruition an almost decade long struggle to develop Mongolia's vast mineral wealth. However while the mine represents a large source of new supply, it is by no means the only major project slated to come on line in the next few years. Latin America and Africa remain significant supply growth candidates as the above article demonstrates.

Copper has found support in the region of $3 on successive occasions since 2010. It rebounded from that level again in July and has returned to test the region of the 200-day MA and the May highs near $3.40. A sustained move below $3.20 would be required to question medium-term scope for continued higher to lateral ranging. This price action suggests that the market has returned to a form of equilibrium but that a new demand growth story will be required to support significantly higher levels.

Peru ranged for two years and trended persistently lower from February. The Index has lost downward momentum since July and last week's upward dynamic broke the progression of lower rally highs. While a period of support building is likely, a sustained move below 15,000 would be required question medium-term scope for higher to lateral ranging.

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