LME WEEK 2020 - INTERVIEW: Copper smelting growth makes new capacity uneconomic, Freeport CEO says

The rapid growth in new copper smelting capacity, particularly in China, has significantly eroded the economics of investing in new greenfield projects, the chief executive officer of Freeport-McMoRan said.

Richard Adkerson told Fastmarkets in an interview this was a key reason why the US producer has not been a fan of building a new copper smelter in Indonesia, although reiterated that it would stick to a prior commitment to do so if that was what the government requested.
“The bad economics for copper smelting have been there all along. Copper smelting only adds 5% or so to the value of the ultimate copper metal,” Adkerson added.

Noting growth in Chinese smelting capacity over the past couple...

Published

Andrea Hotter

October 23, 2020

02:55 GMT

New York