Freeport-McMoRan plans aggressive copper investment in southwest US

Freeport CEO Richard Adkerson.

Freeport-McMoRan plans to invest “aggressively” in copper mines in the southwest US after prices of the metal rose so high that many old operations are now profitable again, CEO Richard Adkerson said at the CERAWeek gathering in Houston, this week.

Copper’s rise to a record high “has made these old, low-grade mines economic” again, he said. Freeport is planning several mine expansions in the US but the government needs to speed up permit approvals if demand is to be met, he said.

[Click here for an interactive chart of copper prices]

The world is facing a “massive deficit” in copper from 2025 due to rapidly growing demand and a shortage of discoveries globally, said Bold Baatar, who heads Rio Tinto’s copper division.

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