Why Aguila?

Why Copper

Copper’s role as the centre point of the energy, information, and technology transition is undisputed.  Over the 10,000 years since its first application, substitution has been modest due to the challenge of duplicating copper’s unique and versatile performance at similar cost.  One of the earliest metals known to man, copper remains at the heart of all future technology.

Copper is a malleable and ductile metallic element that is an excellent conductor of heat and electricity as well as being corrosion resistant and antimicrobial. It was first used by humans as coins and ornaments around 10,000 years ago in western Asia.  As early as the 4th millennium BC, copper was extracted from Spain's Huelva region.

Copper is easily alloyed with other metals.  More than 570 copper alloys have been identified, with 350 of them acknowledged by the U.S. EPA as antimicrobial. Its continued production and use is essential for the success of the energy transition, as the generation and storage of renewable power is highly dependant on access to copper.

Copper is one of the most recycled of all metals. Recycled copper cannot be distinguished from primary copper once reprocessed.  The demand for copper will continue to be met by the discovery of new deposits, technological improvements, efficient design, and by taking advantage of the renewable nature of copper through reuse and recycling.

Supply and Demand

Copper production is dominated by Latin American and Asian mines, with Chile, Peru, China and the Democratic Republic of the Congo playing lead roles.  Codelco, BHP and Freeport-McMoRan are dominant producing companies, with Escondida (Chile) and Grasberg (Indonesia) the largest producing mines.

Supply disruption from major producing countries, alongside limited new discoveries and increasing demand have led to record high copper prices in 2021 and 2022, exceeding US$10,000 per tonne. Copper is “the new oil' and could reach US$15,000 by 2025 as the world transitions to clean energy” Goldman Sachs reported in mid-2021.  Current annual copper production and consumption is approximately 24,000 tonnes.  Goldman Sachs forecast that the market will fall into deficit by 2025.

Copper appears likely to remain within a strong demand phase, supported by both the post-COVID-19 economic recovery and the long-term transition to renewable energy technology and battery storage. A US$1.2 trillion infrastructure package passed by the US Congress in November 2021 will also have positive effects on copper demand.

China accounted for more than half (54%) of global refined copper consumption in 2020, in addition to being the largest refiner of copper (42%). This position at the heart of the global copper market makes China highly influential with regard to global copper prices and investment decisions.

Aguila pursues the discovery of globally significant copper resources in jurisdictions where discovery is rapid, environmental and social impact is low, and development can find the support and be to the benefit of all stakeholders.

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