Copper solutions found in the rubbish

How innovative are companies being to address the looming copper shortage?

Some have started going through the rubbish.

Recent media reports have highlighted how some miners are using new technologies to go through their waste dumps to extract more copper; while telcos have been urged to accelerate their recycling programs.

A Bloomberg report quoted Freeport-McMoRan CEO Kathleen Quirk as saying the company had targeted 400-million pounds of copper coming from mining waste in the next two years.

“Freeport’s targets are part of a wider race among the world’s biggest miners to solve a puzzle that has frustrated the industry for years: a common type of ore that is too difficult and expensive to extract copper from that has either been left in the ground or piled up on waste dumps,” the article said.

Full article here.

Meanwhile, telecommunications companies could be sitting on a US$7 billion copper pile – old copper wiring.

In the migration to fibre-optic cable, telcos could recover as much as 800,000 metric tons of copper over the next decade, estimates TXO, a UK-based firm that provides engineering services to the industry.

“We’ve got all of this material, sitting redundant,” said David Evans, who runs asset recovery at TXO.

Full article here.

These companies have been ‘encouraged’ to consider their options, partly by the lack of new copper developments worldwide – highlighting again how important junior explorers like Eastern Metals could be to the supply chain.

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