- Copper demand is rising worldwide, attributed to the renewable energy market and, recently, the re-emergence of China after its lift of pandemic restrictions
- McEwen Copper’s Los Azules project is positioned to help offset some deficit that is currently being experienced due to losses recorded by Peru and Chile mines coupled with high demand
- The 2017 Preliminary Economic Assessment (“PEA”) estimated a 36-year mine life for the Los Azules Copper Project – and only covered 55% of the known copper resources to be mined
- Additional drill holes have shown strong copper mineralization extending below the initial PEA bottom, providing an additional basis for Los Azules to become an even larger and longer-lasting mine
The renewable energy market is rising, expected to grow at a CAGR of 8.4% and reach a value of nearly $2 trillion by 2030, from $881.7 billion in 2020 (https://ibn.fm/UiPag). A key component to achieving the growth of renewable energy is copper, a sector currently facing a supply deficit, which is expected by some analysts to last until 2030 due to rising demand related to renewable energy transition, as well as the ongoing political unrest in Chile and Peru. Together these two countries produce 37% of the world’s annual production of copper. Peru, which accounts for 10% of the global copper supply, has already reported Glencore’s suspension of its Antapaccay copper mine after protestors looted and set fire to the location. Additionally, Chile, which accounts for 27% of the global supply, recorded a 7% year-on-year decline in November 2022. Goldman Sachs predicted that Chile’s copper production will continue to decline (https://ibn.fm/5DYOI).
The rising demand for copper is thus having a magnified effect on the price of this metal. Since the beginning of 2023, copper prices have risen around 10% due to its’ demand as part of the transition away from traditional fossil fuels (https://ibn.fm/XFlB2). The rise in price has also been attributed, at least in part, to China’s re-emergence from pandemic-related shutdowns. According to Rohan Reddy, director of research at Global X ETFs, “China makes up about half of all global copper demand. There’s a saying, ‘As China goes, so does copper.'”
McEwen Mining (NYSE: MUX) (TSX: MUX), an asset-rich, diversified gold and silver producer in the Americas, is positioned to help address the rising demand for copper through its subsidiary, McEwen Copper, owner of the Los Azules copper deposit in Argentina, which is believed to be the 9th largest undeveloped copper resource in the world. According to McEwen Mining and McEwen Copper, Los Azules could easily be the world’s next copper unicorn.
In a 2017 PEA, Los Azules was designed to be an open pit mine with a 36-year life. However, indications are that the project could become an even larger mine with a longer life since only 55% of the known copper resources are to be mined. Numerous drill holes have shown strong copper mineralization extending below the designed pit bottom. The average annual production for the first 13 years in the 2017 PEA expects production to average 415 million pounds of copper – the price of copper today is over $4.00 per pound.
McEwen Copper’s vision for Los Azules is to create a regenerative mine. A profitable mine with a long life that is technologically advanced and minimizes its carbon footprint and water usage. This environmental sensitivity should enhance its appeal to investors, creating a wider investor interest in the site. Following its most recent capital raise, McEwen Copper is well-funded to advance the Los Azules Project and expects the publication of an updated PEA during H1 2023.
Additionally, an IPO is planned for Q2 2023, which will provide McEwen Copper with the funds necessary to advance Los Azules from PEA stage to complete a Feasibility Study. At the same time, McEwen Mining will be strategically adjusting its ownership by way of a secondary offering in order to strengthen its treasury, fund the expansion of its gold and silver mines and reduce its debt.
For more information, visit the company’s website at www.McEwenMining.com.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to MUX are available in the company’s newsroom at http://ibn.fm/MUX
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