articles | 01 February 2024

Cyprus can benefit from soaring copper prices, industry stakeholder says

Copper prices set to soar by more than 75 per cent over next two years. Mark Rachovides, chairman of Venus Minerals and a member of Euromines, the voice of the European metals and minerals mining industry, on Thursday explained that copper prices are expected to rise by approximately 75 per cent over the next two years.

In his analysis, Rachovides noted that this forecast, driven by disruptions in supply and increased demand linked to the global move towards eco-friendly energy, holds significant consequences for Cyprus. “Because of its superior capacity to provide electrical conductivity without causing overheating even at high levels, the red metal is a key element of the energy transition ecosystem as it is integral to manufacturing electric vehicles, energy storage systems, solar panels, and wind turbines,” Rachovides said.

However, he noted that during a time of soaring demand because of the energy transition, some of the world’s largest copper mines have reduced production due to environmental and other operational concerns or have announced plans to reduce copper output due to cost concerns. “As such, demand for copper is expected to exceed primary supply within the next four years, with Goldman Sachs predicting a copper deficit of over half a million tons in 2024,” he said. Citing data from BloombergNEF, he said that this “mismatch in supply and demand is likely to cause copper prices to rise 20 per cent by 2027”.

He also referenced other analysts, who cite the outcome of the recent COP28 climate change conference, where more than 60 countries backed a plan to triple global renewable energy capacity by 2030, as a core factor for the rise in copper demand over the next decade. “In a report published in December, Citibank forecast that the higher renewable energy targets would boost copper demand by an extra 4.2 million tons by 2030,” he said. “This could push copper prices to $15,000 a ton in 2025, the report added,” he added.

In terms of Cyprus, Rachovides said that through its significant copper resources, the island could benefit from the global surge in demand for copper, by “facilitating new projects in the raw materials sector”. He added that mining technology has also made significant advances, allowing for low-impact exploration and extraction. “Using modern mining and mineral processing methods that minimise environmental impact, mining companies like Venus Minerals, could recover important metals from mining waste and tailings accumulated across the island and make historic sites available for safe alternative uses,” Rachovides stated. “Cyprus has a huge opportunity to benefit from the global surge in copper prices,” added, noting that “by unlocking vital reserves of a critical raw material within the European Union, it can both diversify and add value to the economy, while at the same time rehabilitating areas that were impacted by past activity”.

“It can therefore set an example by successfully achieving the highest standards of the European Green Deal, through the use of modern and efficient methods,” the Venus Minerals chairman concluded.

Source: Cyprus Mail

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