SANTIAGO, April 14 (Reuters) - Top copper mining executives have flocked to Santiago, Chile, to discuss the state of the industry as companies’ margins are pressed by a falling copper price that has forced the toughest cost cutting in years.
The following are some of their comments on Tuesday at the Cesco/CRU event:
“Chile continues being the country with higher costs for copper mining.”
On Codelco plans:
”Codelco expects over $22.5 billion in investment over the next five years.
“We are looking to maintain production of around 1.7 million tonnes between 2015 and 2019 ... and develop simultaneously, or almost simultaneously, up to six large-scale projects.”
On troubled roaster at Ministro Hales mine:
”At Ministro Hales we have still needed to make significant corrections to the process of transforming high arsenic concentrates.
“We are hoping in the next two to three months to have this process finally concluded.”
”Although it is tempting, we shouldn’t get completely lost in the present challenging copper situation. We shouldn‘t, because none of us in this industry build for the short-term.
”We don’t live month-to-month, we invest with a long-term view, and in that sense, I am not just not worried ... I am very encouraged.
”We know it is harder ... when money is tight, when uncertainty in the short term makes it hard to plan for the long term, and when it is tempting to batten down the hatches and ride out the storm.
“I firmly believe this would be the wrong thing for our industry to do. Now is the time to keep investing, keep innovating, and keep creating value at all points of the cycle.”
”Between now and 2020 alone, just five years, global demand for copper semis will rise by more than 20 percent, as more than two billion people on this planet continue the largest mass migration into middle-class life ever seen in human history.
”Look at China ... its economy is cooling. But it’s growing off of a much larger base, and 5 per cent growth in copper use today is equivalent to 12 per cent growth a decade ago.
“India’s power generation is expected to double in the next 15 years. This will require a significant upgrade in grid capacity and associated increase in copper required, particularly in dense urban areas.” (Reporting by Anthony Esposito, Fabian Cambero and Josephine Mason; Compiled by Rosalba O‘Brien; Editing by Christian Plumb and Ted Botha)