Global perspective on copper deficit opportunity

Vanessa Davidson, director copper strategy and research, CRU will return to deliver the keynote address on the global outlook for copper, detailing demand and supply trends. Image: Vanessa Davidson

As the copper market makes the transition from a surplus to a deficit market next year, internationally respected CRU copper analyst, Vanessa Davidson returns to the Copper to the World conference in Adelaide in June.

Vanessa, based in CRU’s UK headquarters, will deliver the key note address on the international outlook for the global copper market, joined by BHP’s Chile-based Patricio Hidalgo, who will share international copper market trends.

Global copper demand is forecast to rise while supplies of high-grade copper decline, creating an opportunity for Australia’s copper sector to leverage its potential as a major copper-producing nation.

Along with delivering a global perspective on the future of copper, the conference program will also cover new technologies businesses can consider as they work to fill the copper gap – and ride the growth trajectory.

In a session opened by John Fennell of the International Copper Association, major copper miners in Australia — BHP, OZ Minerals and Newcrest — and innovators will share their insights into new technologies deployed in their copper mines that paint a bright future for the sector including new ways to get copper out of the ground and process it more effectively.

Highlights for South Australia as a copper jurisdiction in the past six months include the completion of a smelter upgrade program at Olympic Dam that will boost production efficiency from the state’s largest underground mine and regulatory approvals for the Carrapateena copper-gold project northeast of Port Augusta.

International speaker Andrés Pesce Aron of Fundación Chile is sure to stretch thinking in the METS space and collaboration; the organisation is a not for profit “do tank” that fosters innovation between three of the major copper companies in the world — Codelco, Antofagasta and BHP — and the METS sector. Among the initiatives Andrés oversees is an open innovation platform addressing over 40 challenges across the mining value chain including a tailings monitoring system.

Filling the copper gap will also require more greenfield discoveries to bring forward a pipeline of new mines. The final segment of the day will look at the crucial efforts to boost exploration success in the ongoing endeavour to uncover economic orebodies with presenters from the National UNCOVER initiative and AMIRA International, capped by local explorers sharing their progress.

Speakers from CSIRO and Hatch will also join the program.

South Australia’s copper endowment — with 66 per cent of Australia’s demonstrated resources of copper makes it a natural fit as home of the Copper to the World Conference.

Register and view the program held 26 June: minerals.dpc.sa.gov.au/copper_to_the_world

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