This Key Project Sale Will Reveal The True State Of The Copper Market

Copper prices have been on a tear the last few weeks — rising over 10% since late September, to a recent 3-year high above $3.20 per pound. 

And that’s apparently getting big miners interested in big copper projects again. 

That was the word from the government of Peru this week. With officials saying they’ve seen a surge of interest in a major copper development project planned for auction over the next few months. 

The project is Michiquillay — a world-leading defined resource of over 1.16 billion tonnes grading 0.63% copper. Which Peruvian investment agency Proinversion said Monday will be auctioned on December 20. 

But the most interesting detail from the Proinversion announcement was an appraisal on the number of potential bidders for this mega-project. With the agency saying that over 20 firms have “shown interest” in making an offer for Michiquillay. 

That’s a major surge of interest over the last few weeks alone. I wrote about Michiquillay on September 21 — at a time when only two companies had reportedly thrown their hats in for bidding on the project. 

That suggests the rise in copper prices over the last few weeks has brought a wave of interest from potential bidders. Officials didn’t clarify which firms are in the running — but did say they are extending the deadline for firms to pre-qualify for the auction, to November 2. Meaning we could see even more potential buyers enter the race over the next two weeks. 

All of which is great news for the global copper sector. Showing that big investment appetite is returning from major miners globally. 

The outcome of the Michiquillay auction will thus be a critical data point in “taking the temperature” of the copper sector — and potentially signalling more activity coming for other projects globally. Watch for news over the coming weeks on the identities of bidders, and for final award of the project on December 20. 

Here’s to bringing it back,

Dave Forest

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