Copper mining company Glencore has announced the company operating the Katanga mining project in the Democratic Republic of Congo will suspend production at the site for 18 months. It marks the second major copper mining stoppage in a week.
Katanga Mining confirmed the mining halt, but it will continue to work on its $880 million investment in the plant. And, it will keep nearly 80% of its workers on the job. The decision will remove approximately 400,000 tonnes of copper from the world’s market.
Also last week, Capstone Mining Corporation announced it is cutting its mine operations over the last half of this year due to the price of copper. “While we continue to believe that Santo Domingo is an excellent project, a number of factors, including uncertainty over the future direction of copper prices and our financing capacity for the project, make capital preservation a priority at this time,” said Darren Pylot, President and CEO of Capstone. “n this environment, we believe the most prudent course of action is to put the project and completion of the updated Feasibility Study on hold, while maintaining the optionality for future development when conditions improve.”
And two weeks ago, Freeport-McMoRan, an Arizona-based company, suspended mining at its plant in Chile due to slumping copper prices.
As a result of the announcements of the mining stoppages, copper prices did rebound late last week. However, experts believe there is still a huge surplus of copper and it will take time before there is a significant increase in copper prices.
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