Visualizing the Copper Investment Opportunity in One Chart


Area chart showing that copper supply won’t keep pace with demand over the next three decades as usage in clean energy technology surges. Data from Bloomberg.

Visualizing the Copper Investment Opportunity in One Chart

Copper is essential for clean energy applications such as solar panels, wind turbines, and electric vehicles (EVs), as well as for expanding electrical grids.

The surge in demand for the metal, driven by the growing adoption of these technologies, presents a unique investment opportunity for early investors in copper mining companies.

This chart by Sprott explores the growing gap between copper supply and demand until 2050, based on projections from BloombergNEF’s Transition Metals Outlook 2023.

Projected Copper Supply vs. Demand

Copper is naturally abundant on Earth, but extracting the metal at the pace necessary for an electrified economy could be a challenge. The timeline for bringing a copper mine from discovery to production is lengthy, averaging over 16 years.

Top producers like Chile and Peru are facing strikes and protests, along with declining ore grades. Russia, ranked seventh in copper production, faces an expected decline in production due to the ongoing war in Ukraine.

Meanwhile, the increasing adoption of carbon-free technology only highlights copper’s significance.

High Demand for Transport and Electricity Grid

The demand for copper in the transport sector is projected to increase by 11.1 times by 2050, from 2022. EVs, for example, can contain more than a mile of copper wiring.

Additionally, the demand for copper needed to expand the global electricity grid is projected to increase by 4.8 times by 2050, from 2022.

By 2030, the copper supply gap is projected to approach 10 million metric tons, with both copper prices and copper mining stocks potentially set to benefit.

As the world embraces clean technologies, the search for and expansion of copper mines will be essential. Early investors who gain exposure to copper miners may benefit from the rapidly increasing demand.

Sprott offers convenient exchange-traded alternatives for investors seeking exposure to copper miners.

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