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Copper Supply Faces Struggle to Keep Up with Growing Demand

Panorama from Escondida open cast mine. (Photo by Oliver Llaneza Hesse/Construction Photography/Avalon/Getty Images)

A deficit in the copper market is set to deepen over the next several years as supply of the widely used metal struggles to keep up with strong demand from the power and construction sectors, compounded by the proliferation of electric vehicles.

“Refined output is expected to increase by 4.3% year on year to 24.7 million tonnes in 2021 after decreasing by 2.1% to 23.6 Mt in 2020, primarily as a result of disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic,” S&P Global Market Intelligence commodity analyst Thomas Rutland said.

Work stoppages due to measures designed to curb the spread of the coronavirus have stalled existing capacity and have delayed investments with long-term repercussions for supply. Chile has been the worst affected followed by the U.S. and Peru. Read more…..

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People in western Uganda are concerned about dangerous metals that could be contaminating their water. Research shows high levels of minerals, including copper, zinc and cobalt remain in the soil around the town of Kasese. As Isabel Nakirya reports, it’s more than thirty years since the Kilembe copper and cobalt mines stopped operating.

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