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Copper demand set to rise: Adkerson

Keywords: Tags  Freeport earnings, Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold, copper, copper demand, quarterly earnings, Everdeen Mason

NEW YORK — Strong copper demand and increased copper production will help Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. recover from a tepid second quarter caused by slowed production at its Grasberg Mine in Indonesia, the company said.

"Copper demand is strong and we see it growing 8 to 10 percent in a year," vice chairman, president and chief executive officer Richard Adkerson said in a conference call July 23. "Scrap will go up, and premiums will go up."

Phoenix-based Freeport’s 2013 copper production is expected to miss the Phoenix-based company’s initial estimate by 230 million pounds due to a tunnel collapse at Grasberg in May that forced it to declare force majeure at the site (, June 12), Adkerson said.

The company’s upcoming expansions at Tenke Fungurume in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Cerro Verde in Peru and Morenci in southeast Arizona are expected to increase copper production by more than 1 billion pounds by 2016, Freeport said.

American mines have increased copper production but are producing lower grades of copper, the company said, noting that Africa is the region with the highest growth potential.

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