Copper demand outstrips supply

The short-term forecast for companies producing copper, as well as those about to start producing, looks extremely bullish with demand growing faster than supply. The copper market is facing a widening deficit in 2011 and 2012 until new supply comes on stream in late 2013.

Standard Bank's head of commodity research Walter De Wet recently reiterated this message, saying, “After last year’s deficit, we project the deficit to grow to 385,000 tonnes for 2011 and 562,000 for 2012, so clearly demand is growing faster than supply and will remain strong until 2013.

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The next big mining investment story

INDONESIA looks certain to replace Africa as the next mining investment story. It could be this year or maybe next but it will happen. Although investment has a patchy record, due to red tape, corruption and the Bre-X scandal, it seems the world’s third most populous nation has turned the corner. It is rich in resources, has a new mining law and there is huge demand from China, India, and traditional powerhouses South Korea and Japan.

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China a major mining force

China’s drive towards mass urbanization is gaining momentum, resulting in increased consumption and a huge appetite for natural resources. As well as boosting its domestic quest for resources and enhancing mining methods leading to increased output, this appetite means China is increasingly looking to obtain resources from overseas.

Standard Bank’s chief executive, Asia – Andrew King says that for overseas mining companies China has become the primary source of funding and at present is possibly the only source that has the wherewithal to do so for large-scale projects with significant infrastructure requirements, with government support an added bonus.

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Golden glow to continue

As 2010 draws to a close and the mining world ponders what 2011 has in store, gold seems certain to retain its glow, at least in the short to medium term.
Since the start of 2008, just before the GFC, gold has stood tall above most other major asset classes, appreciating by 67% while equity markets, are still in negative territory. Copper has challenged, being up 35% but another precious metal, silver, has won the race and is up by 96%.
At the end of 2010 gold continues to set new records and recently set a new high of US$1423.75 an ounce. Overall, the gold price is up 11% in the last three months, and in the last 12 months it is up by 24%. Silver has soared 64% in the same period.

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John Miller, Editor

John Miller, Editor, The ASIA Miner
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Editor, ASIA Miner and Australian Editor, E&MJ
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Based in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, John Miller has been working as a mining journalist for The ASIA Miner for the past seven years, focusing on mining developments throughout Asia and Australia. He was promoted to editor, The ASIA Miner, during July 2010, is editor of Coal Age Indonesia and has responsibility for E&MJ Australian coverage. John has more than 30 years experience as a journalist. He is also an author with more than five historical books published and a biography published. He has also served his community as a city Councillor and was mayor of Orange from 2002 to 2004.