Future copper project quality is poor compared to today’s mines

For a longer term view, this sobering information from Mineweb:
Scotia Capital metals analyst Onno Rutter Sunday said the quality of future copper projects is generally lower than currently producing copper mines, noting lower grades and the remote locations in politically unstable areas.

In a presentation to the Prospectors and Developers Association Conference in Toronto, Rutter said the project pipeline for copper “appears barely adequate to supply the market.”

But the timeframe is fairly long …

Scotia forecasts an annual global copper demand growth rate ranging from 3.7% to 4.6% until 2010. Meanwhile, despite some direct predictions, Rutter insisted that copper reserves are not running out any time soon, estimating that 28 years of copper supply is still available in proven and probable reserves.

Rutter asserted that the world remains in a copper supercycle where inventories remain low by historic standards, and price volatility is expected to remain high over the next four years.

Meanwhile, Rutter speculated that long-term copper demand may be impacted by what he called irreversible substitution.

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