• 5 minutes Mike Shellman's musings on "Cartoon of the Week"
  • 11 minutes Permian already crested the productivity bell curve - downward now to Tier 2 geological locations
  • 17 minutes WTI @ 67.50, charts show $62.50 next
  • 16 hours The Discount Airline Model Is Coming for Europe’s Railways
  • 4 hours Pakistan: "Heart" Of Terrorism and Global Threat
  • 1 day Newspaper Editorials Across U.S. Rebuke Trump For Attacks On Press
  • 8 hours Desperate Call or... Erdogan Says Turkey Will Boycott U.S. Electronics
  • 5 mins Renewable Energy Could "Effectively Be Free" by 2030
  • 9 hours Venezuela set to raise gasoline prices to international levels.
  • 1 day Batteries Could Be a Small Dotcom-Style Bubble
  • 21 hours Saudi Fund Wants to Take Tesla Private?
  • 20 mins Starvation, horror in Venezuela
  • 2 hours Are Trump's steel tariffs working? Seems they are!
  • 2 days France Will Close All Coal Fired Power Stations By 2021
  • 1 day Don't Expect Too Much: Despite a Soaring Economy, America's Annual Pay Increase Isn't Budging
  • 14 hours Corporations Are Buying More Renewables Than Ever
Alt Text

World Class Copper Auction Draws Major Interest

Peru’s mega Michiquillay copper is…

Alt Text

Busting The Lithium Bubble Myth

Lithium demand continues to grow…

Dave Forest

Dave Forest

Dave is Managing Geologist of the Pierce Points Daily E-Letter.

More Info

Trending Discussions

This Could Be A Major Red Flag For The World’s No.1 Copper Nation

Chile Codelco

Expansive study on global copper released this past week — from a top authority in the world’s largest producing nation, Chile.

That came from the government-run Chilean Copper Commission (Cochilco). Which put together 15 years of exploration data in Chile and beyond, to look at where major copper discoveries are coming from — and how successful exploration spending in the sector has been of late.

At first glance, that data seems to cement Chile’s place as the world’s premier copper nation. Showing that the country has hosted 30.2 percent of all copper deposits discovered globally between 2000 and 2014.

The study also shows that Chilean companies have a strong track record of discovery. With national copper miner Codelco having found 17 deposits during the study period, while private miner Antofagasta made four discoveries.

But digging deeper into the data, a more-unsettling trend is apparent.

Exploration recently has been coming up empty.

The numbers on Chilean discoveries show that discoveries have been in short supply during the last several years. With a full 94% of discovered resources and reserves being found prior to 2010.

That means it’s now been six and a half years in Chile with very little exploration success. Despite that fact the study notes “investment in exploration has increased significantly” since 2010. Related: The Fuel That May Halt The Electric Car Revolution

The study authors conclude that “exploration results have not been proportional to the increased budget” during the last several years. Suggesting that discoveries are getting more difficult to come by in the increasingly mature terrains of Chile’s copper districts. Not helped by a national mineral licensing system that allows large tracts of land to be held inactive for extended periods.

All of which shows that the world may not be able to rely on its top-producing nation for future copper supply growth. A fact that’s evidenced on the ground by increasing copper exploration and production in other Andean nations like Peru, Ecuador and Colombia.

Watch for what moves the Chilean government and mining industry may make to address this situation. Possibly including state-sponsored regional geophysics for deep targeting — and reforms to mineral licensing that could open locked-up ground for exploration.

Here’s to getting over the hump.

By Dave Forest

More Top Reads From Oilprice.com:




Back to homepage

Trending Discussions


Leave a comment

Leave a comment




Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News