Has Anglo American found something big in Brazil?

(Bloomberg) — Anglo American Plc’s chief executive officer was being a little cryptic with investors on Thursday, but the message was clear: the company might have found an exciting copper deposit in Brazil.

CEO Mark Cutifani briefly flagged a 19,000-square kilometer piece of land (an area about the size of Israel) that the miner has pegged in Brazil, where it’s looking for copper. When pushed by a Morgan Stanley analyst for more details, he hinted that there was something interesting to be found.

“There is a lot of chatter in Brazil,” Cutifani told analysts in London after announcing earnings. “People know we’ve put a hole through something.”

Copper deposits are among the hottest assets in mining right now, with the world’s top producers becoming increasingly bullish on the metal. There are expectations that bigger power grids around the world and an electric-vehicle boom will boost demand, while supplies are constrained. Highlighting its enthusiasm for copper, Anglo today said it’s given the go ahead for a giant new $5 billion mine in Peru.

Still, Cutifani was keen to point out that nothing is ever certain in the industry.

“It might not be what we hope it is,” he told the room of analysts and investors. “We’ll have something more sensible to say at the end of the year.”

(By Thomas Biesheuvel)