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Future Copper Supply Imperiled by Project Freeze at Top Producer

  • Codelco must spend $40 billion just to maintain output levels
  • At stake is enough copper to wire seven million electric cars
Updated on

The pandemic is raising questions over the biggest copper producer’s ability to maintain output levels in the coming years and satisfy growing global demand.

Like many of its private-sector peers, state-owned Codelco has largely given up on project development for the time being to focus on running existing mines with reduced staff. For the Chilean behemoth, though, the consequences of prolonged building delays would be far greater.