The world’s biggest copper miners are urging Chile not to squander its mineral potential amid mounting environmental opposition, power shortages and rising labor costs and taxes in Latin America’s wealthiest economy.
Copper, the worst performing major metal this year, is underpinned by prospects of a recovery in Chinese demand that will help counter increased supply, according to some of the world’s biggest producers.
The world’s strongest earthquake in a year and hundreds of aftershocks rattled the copper-rich Atacama Desert last week, forcing almost a million people to seek refuge from tsunamis. The copper market barely reacted.
Antofagasta Plc, the copper producer controlled by Chile’s Luksic family, erased gains in London trading on speculation a jump in planned investments will prevent a repeat of 2013’s higher-than-expected dividend.
Codelco, engaged in a dispute with Anglo American Plc over the world’s fifth-largest copper mine, said its chief executive resigned in the same week as the companies resumed talks to seek an out-of-court settlement.
Codelco, the world’s largest copper producer, appointed BHP Billiton Ltd.’s Diego Hernandez as chief executive officer as the state-owned company seeks to boost output for a second consecutive year amid Chile’s earthquake reconstruction efforts.
Antofagasta Plc, the copper company controlled by Chile’s billionaire Luksic family, predicts global supply and demand will remain in balance longer than previously thought on project delays and an increase in orders.