Copper Catch Up

Richard (Rick) Mills
Ahead of the Herd

Page 3 of 3


Tomorrow’s Copper Demand


According to the Minerals Education Coalition every American born will need 978 pounds of copper over their lifetime.



We can see in the above Wood MacKenzie, Macquarie Research graph, from an August 2013 report, a projected refined shortage in 2018. The surplus forecast between now and then is diminutive in relation to the sheer size of the copper market and copper production often falls short of forecasts due to accidents, strikes, ore degradation or power shortages. Disruptions in the copper market averaged 900,000 tonnes of copper supply per year between 2004 and 2012.


We already have one billion people out of today’s current population slated to become significant consumers by 2025.


Another 2.8 billion people will be added to the world between now and 2050. Most will not be Americans but they are going to want a lot of things that we in the western developed world take for granted – electricity, plumbing, appliances, AC etc.

Out of a total of 10 billion people in 2050, 8.2 billion of them are expected to be in developing countries.


How much copper could they expect to use over their lifetime?


Will they each use 978 lb’s of copper in their life time? Is there 8 plus trillion pounds of new copper left to be mined in the world?


Probably not…


According to a September 2013 report from the United States Geological Survey (USGS) global land-based copper resources (contained in identified, mined, and undiscovered resources – undiscovered resource numbers are based on geological modeling, the copper should, might, be there) exceed 3 billion tons (6 trillion pounds). These identified, mined, and undiscovered resources do not include deep-sea nodules and submarine massive sulfides.


“Infinite growth of material consumption in a finite world is an impossibility.” E. F. Schumacher


“We’re living in a finite world, one in which resource constraints are becoming increasingly binding.” Paul Krugman, ‘The Finite World’




If we mined every last discovered, and undiscovered, pound of land based copper the expected 8.2 billion people in the developing world would only get three quarters of the way towards copper use parity per capita with the U.S.


Of course the rest of us, the other 1.8 billion people expected to be on this planet by 2050, aren’t going to be easing up, we’re still going to be using copper at prestigious rates while our eastern cousins play catch up.


Copper use parity isn’t going to happen, it can’t.


It’s this author’s opinion the developing world will not get a third of the way to our development levels here in the west before we all run out of USGS stated copper resources to mine.


Consider that this game of ‘Copper Catch Up’ is not going to happen in 100 years, it’s happening now.


The world’s exploding population, the massive shift from rural to urban, the growth of a very consumption minded middle class in developing countries, it’s all happening now.


Add in finite, increasingly hard to source resources.


The effects will felt long before we actually start to run out of copper and there will be severe consequences:

  • Rising energy and commodity prices
  • A decline in the global economy
  • Civil unrest

Are the coming consequences of living in a finite world on your radar screen?


If not, they should be.


Richard (Rick) Mills


Richard is the owner of and invests in the junior resource/bio-tech sectors. His articles have been published on over 400 websites, including:


WallStreetJournal, USAToday, NationalPost, Lewrockwell, MontrealGazette, VancouverSun, CBSnews, HuffingtonPost, Londonthenews, Wealthwire, CalgaryHerald, Forbes, Dallasnews, SGTreport, Vantagewire, Indiatimes, Ninemsn, Ibtimes, Businessweek, HongKongHerald, Moneytalks and the Association of Mining Analysts.


If you're interested in learning more about the junior resource and bio-med sectors, and quality individual company’s within these sectors, please come and visit us at


If you are interested in advertising on Richard’s site please contact him for more information,




Legal Notice / Disclaimer


This document is not and should not be construed as an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to purchase or subscribe for any investment.


Richard Mills has based this document on information obtained from sources he believes to be reliable but which has not been independently verified.


Richard Mills makes no guarantee, representation or warranty and accepts no responsibility or liability as to its accuracy or completeness. Expressions of opinion are those of Richard Mills only and are subject to change without notice. Richard Mills assumes no warranty, liability or guarantee for the current relevance, correctness or completeness of any information provided within this Report and will not be held liable for the consequence of reliance upon any opinion or statement contained herein or any omission.


Furthermore, I, Richard Mills, assume no liability for any direct or indirect loss or damage or, in particular, for lost profit, which you may incur as a result of the use and existence of the information provided within this Report.






About Ahead of the HerdAbout Us is a community where investors trade ideas on the buying and selling of stocks

Ahead of the HerdSponsors List

Ahead of the HerdOur Location

Office Hours
5am - 4:30pm, M-F
9am - 12pm Saturday

Closed Sunday


To contact us please email

Ahead of the Herd