Recent power outages, tax arrangements, political instability, and supply-chain issues may lead to a continued shortage of copper production in the near term, noted the Australian Department of Industry, Science, Energy, and Resources (DISER).
Copper production at mines across the world increased by 2pc in Q1, despite interruptions in Chile and Peru, said the department in an official report.
Chile’s Q1 ending March production dropped by 2pc from the prior-year period, despite increased output in facilities owned by Codelco.
But the report stated current operating arrangements, risk of strikes, and ongoing discussions on mining tax policy could lead to operational uncertainty and shortage in the near term.
Production in Peru increased by 3pc in Q1 from the prior-year period but remained below pre-pandemic levels. A policy to increase royalty rates is currently under discussion.
Mine production is estimated to reach 25mn mt in 2023, an average increase of 6pc annually on 22mn mt in 2021.
Chile’s mine output could witness a steady growth facilitated by Codelco’s US$40bn mine redevelopment plans. The El Teniente restructure plans, which began in January could increase production capacity to 500,000mt by 2023.