Yesterday, we discussed electric vehicles and how they’ll be the driving force behind a global copper boom.
By 2040, electric vehicle copper consumption is set to triple and overall demand will increase by 50%.
Here’s the current predicament for copper supply: right now, there are 728 operating copper mines in production in 65 countries. This sounds like a lot…
However, 10 mines account for 27% the world’s production. That’s right, 44 billion pounds of copper comes from 10 mines.
These copper ‘super mines’ have been operating for decades now. The bulk of the riches have been tapped, and they’re past their prime.
Since these super mines have been producing for years, the ore is now deeper in the pit.
That means higher costs per pound of copper.
Currently, 50% of the world’s copper comes from 30 mines. In other words, 4% of the mines produce half of the worlds copper.
Just over half of total mine production comes from mining-friendly regions such as North America, Australia, Europe and select countries in South America.
The risk of political unrest or even government takeover of a mine is much lower in these areas.
The other half of the mines are in super risky jurisdictions. Places where it isn’t uncommon to see people carrying AK-47s around. In fact, you’d probably see the guards at those copper mines holding AK-47s.
These jurisdictions are not known for having great respect for property rights, contracts and often, even human rights.
These copper-producing districts are in Russia, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, the Middle East and parts of Africa.