As global trends towards decarbonisation and electrification gain traction, copper output must double in the next 30 years since it is one of the most widely used metals in power infrastructure, Tariq Salaria, BHP’s vice president of sales, said in a recent conference.

 

He added that China, one of the biggest consumers of the red metal, as well as one of the biggest carbon emitters, would be an epicentre for copper consumption growth. Salaria also expressed his concerns over the copper concentrate treatment and refining charges that are usually agreed between the miner and Chinese smelters in November, that have now run into December, following a disagreement on the price benchmark. 

 

Such distortion in pricing help the smelters in the high cost regions to continue to earn high margin while overcapacity leads to margins flowing to intermediaries in many cases.

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