Comparative review

Economic woes, institutional disaster and a slowing China have done little to whittle investor enthusiasm for copper. Enthusiasts of the red metal delight in pointing out that average copper grades have been falling for a decade and that extraction costs are rising with demand. The bulls say copper prices will march higher. We’ve long been sceptical of that claim. Copper has risen from less than $1 a pound at the start of the boom to over $3.50 a pound today. Every copper producer in the world still generates exceptional rates of return and, while that’s the case, supply is bound...

Economic woes, institutional disaster and a slowing China have done little to whittle investor enthusiasm for copper. Enthusiasts of the red metal delight in pointing out that average copper grades have been falling for a decade and that extraction costs are rising with demand. The bulls say copper prices will march higher.

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