Copper’s crucial role in achieving Net Zero

The increasing demand for copper, driven by its crucial role in renewable energy generation, electric vehicles (EVs), and grid infrastructure essential for achieving net-zero emissions, has pushed copper prices higher, benefiting top companies in the sector. Market dynamics, such as the closure of the Cobre Panama mine and reduced output by Chinese smelters, have shifted expectations from surplus to deficit, further boosting prices. Analysts believe this trend could lead to a sustained bullish market for copper, with many copper-focused equities reaching new highs.

Copper’s importance lies in its high electrical conductivity, thermal efficiency, and recyclability, making it vital for renewable energy systems and EVs. Technologies like solar panels and wind turbines require significant copper for efficient electricity transmission, while EVs depend on it for motors, inverters, and wiring. Despite the critical role, demand is projected to outpace supply growth, raising concerns about potential shortages. Addressing these challenges necessitates strategic investments in copper production and recycling.

Even though aluminium offers cost-effective alternatives, copper’s efficiency remains unmatched for applications crucial to decarbonisation. The average car contains around 29 kilograms of copper, and a typical household uses over 181 kilograms. Advanced grid systems managing electricity from renewable sources also rely heavily on copper. Meeting net-zero targets by 2035 could require annual copper demand to double, with conservative estimates predicting a one-third increase over the next decade.

Analysts forecast rising copper prices in 2024 and beyond, driven by supply-demand imbalances and increasing green energy sector demand. Projections for 2024 average around $8,800 to $8,950 per ton, with continued growth expected in 2025. The long-term outlook remains uncertain but optimistic due to the energy transition.

As nations compete for limited copper supplies, particularly from Latin America and Africa, securing domestic or friendly sourcing and refining capabilities becomes strategically important. Expanding renewable energy infrastructure and EV adoption necessitates strategic investments in copper production and recycling to meet growing demand and achieve net-zero emissions goals.

Jubilee Metals Group plc (LON:JLP) is a diversified metal recovery business with a world-class portfolio of projects in South Africa and Zambia. The Company’s expanding multi-project portfolio across South Africa and Zambia provides exposure to a broad commodity basket including Platinum Group Metals, chrome, lead, zinc, vanadium, copper and cobalt.

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