Copper: 5 things to look for in 2018

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Report summary

2018 will be a year of volatility. The fall out from the Chinese government’s push to tighten restrictions on imports of foreign waste will influence the flow of raw materials for the production of refined copper and copper semis products but will also shape market sentiment and the trajectory of the price. This is particularly important in a year in which we have a significant volume of labour contracts under negotiation. As a consequence, key things to watch will be the performance of copper mines and smelters and the price of copper on the exchanges as well as trends in treatment charges and premia.

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    Copper: 5 things to look for in 2018

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Table of contents

  • Executive summary
  • 1. Copper prices – likely to be another volatile year
  • 2. Demand prospects look positive but political risks remain
  • 3. Environmental developments in China to alter the raw material import mix
  • 4. Trends in global production
  • 5. Projects – the pace of development needs to increase

Tables and charts

This report includes 4 images and tables including:


  • Year-on-year growth in mine supply dominated by continuing ramp-up of projects - very few new projects starting
  • Mine site costs (C to C) at primary copper mines (2017$)


  • Chilean emissions regulations for copper smelters
  • Ten development projects to watch during 2018

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