by Richard (Rick) Mills, Ahead of the Herd:
As a general rule, the most successful man in life is the man who has the best information
According to the Metals Economics Group report, ‘Strategies for Copper Reserves Replacement Study’ a combination of lower grades and higher costs (taxation, royalty and environmental approval) are pushing up the copper mining industry’s capital and operating costs.
The Study found that from 2001 to 2012 the weighted-average head grade at 47 producing mines (with comparable data) declined by almost 30 percent – now this is normal and historically was never a problem, ore head grades decline because companies mine high-grade zones at the onset of operations in order to cover start-up expenditures.
But grade problems are manifesting themselves, global copper production is coming under stress because the average ore grades of copper in new discoveries and developing projects has also declined over the same period.
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