Increasingly Bullish on Copper, Permitting a Big Supply Problem

Joe Mazumdar, editor of Exploration Insights, is increasingly positive about copper as supply of the base metal tightens.

He cited slow development timelines and project delays as key factors that are constraining output.

“While I can’t predict demand, even if it’s flat, the supply’s not there. That’s what I know,” Mazumdar said at the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) convention. “That’s what you can put your hat on, because you know that from discovery to basically production the average time is 15 to 18 years.”

He pointed specifically to arduous permitting processes and NIMBYism as constraints in North America.

“North America has no problem with mineral endowment. The problem is that the local governments — most of them don’t want mining. That’s the problem. And they don’t want processing,” he said. “It’s hard to marry the idea of, ‘Hey we want this carbon-neutral society, we need these metals. But I don’t want to produce it and I don’t want to process it.'”

While this could change in the future, he isn’t optimistic that it will happen soon. In fact, Mazumdar said permitting is likely to be more of a problem than financing as governments and other entities step in to fund miners focused on the energy transition.

“If they invest in you as a project, there is no marriage between the probability of you funding it and you getting permitted by another department in the federal government — there’s no link,” he explained.

This disconnect is an important part of copper’s positive supply/demand fundamentals. “For me, if anything I’m more bullish on copper than I was when we last talked,” he said.

Watch the interview above for more from Mazumdar on the copper market, as well as the permitting process in the mining industry. You can also click here for the Investing News Network’s full PDAC playlist on YouTube.

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Securities Disclosure: I, Charlotte McLeod, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

Editorial Disclosure: The Investing News Network does not guarantee the accuracy or thoroughness of the information reported in the interviews it conducts. The opinions expressed in these interviews do not reflect the opinions of the Investing News Network and do not constitute investment advice. All readers are encouraged to perform their own due diligence.

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