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Why rock bottom refining charges are bullish for copper

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Copper prices are high, and inventories are low, but the CEO of Kodiak Copper (TSX.V:KDK), Claudia Tornquist, said there is another bullish indicator for the base metal.

On Friday Tornquist was a guest on Kitco Roundtable podcast with correspondent Paul Harris, editor Neils Christensen and mining audiences manager Michael McCrae.

Kodiak is advancing its MPD copper-gold porphyry project in southern British Columbia.

As of Friday afternoon, spot copper was $4.13 a lb. The recent price spike is significant. Copper has not seen prices at these levels since 2012.

London Metal Exchange copper stock have also dropped below the 100,000 level.

"Inventories are at an all-time low. I always look at the treatment and refining charges, and those are at rock bottom. Copper smelters are really scrambling to get their hands on raw material to service their clients," said Tornquist.

Supply is constrained, said Tornquist. Regarding mine development she said there isn't much on the horizon. Over the past decade there are only four discoveries of a significant size.

"Many mines are getting old and declining in production, and the development pipeline is very low. So there's not much there to replenish declining production, and many commentators see a significant supply gap of 5 million tonnes a year."

The Roundtable also reprised an interview with Agnico Eagle's CEO Sean Boyd. The company has continued to grow its portfolio through acquisitions. The company acquired TMAC Resources in early 2021.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and may not reflect those of Kitco Metals Inc. The author has made every effort to ensure accuracy of information provided; however, neither Kitco Metals Inc. nor the author can guarantee such accuracy. This article is strictly for informational purposes only. It is not a solicitation to make any exchange in commodities, securities or other financial instruments. Kitco Metals Inc. and the author of this article do not accept culpability for losses and/ or damages arising from the use of this publication.