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12/27/13

Average copper grade in Chile is up in 2013

Here's an interesting report and from it, your author has compiled this interesting chart*

"annual" and "per year": Welcoming Captain Redundant to the blog

It turns out that 2013 saw a significant upturn in the average grade of copper mined in Chile. To get things totally accurate, 2012 saw a small reversal from the long-term trend when 0.84% average copper grade (2011) became 0.86% Cu (2012), but the big trend-change is this year because according to Cochilco, 2013's average copper grade in Chile has been 0.94%, the highest since 2008.

Both Cochilco and the El Mercurio report goes on to credit, partially, the new Hales mine for helping to raise grade, but the notable thing is how existing mines are raising grade, for example a whopping 44% increase in the average at Collahuasi. This is presented as something good, but that doens't pass the smell test especially in a year (years) of rising costs. Yup folks, all things point to Chilean copper mines high-grading their deposits in order to maintain a reasonable level of profitability. And as Chile is roughly a third of world copper production, that's a little snippet that needs to be chewed over, swallowed and duly digested by the metals market community.

*Well, I think it's interesting. And it's my blog. So there.