Challenges mar copper projects in ’12

Dec 19, 2012 | 05:41 PM | Shivani Singh

Tags  BHP Billiton, Olympic Dam, copper, uranium, gold, Xstrata, Codelco, Shivani Singh

SINGAPORE — It has been a year of project delays and deferrals for the copper market, underlining the continued challenges in bringing supply up to speed with demand.

The latest of these has been at Xstrata Plc’s Tampakan copper-gold project in the Philippines, where output has been pushed back three years to 2019. The $5.9-billion operation was hit by a local government ban on open-pit mining and delays in getting environmental clearance, among other challenges.

Such bottlenecks are making investors wary of funding operations in the Philippines, the fifth-most mineralized country in the world and fourth for copper deposits.

Xstrata, a majority shareholder in the Frieda River copper-gold mine in Papua New Guinea, is considering selling its stake in the project as it reviews its projects.....

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