Copper Exploration Hot Spots

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"Explorers have been scouring BC, looking for new copper deposits."

Resource Investing News, Leia Toovey

With copper supplies already in a deficit, near-term supplies dwindling and rising prices, there's extra incentive to search for new copper reserves. Thus, copper exploration is heating up around the world with juniors and miners searching for deposits on almost every continent.

Canada (British Columbia)

Canada is among the world's top-five largest copper producers, and the majority of its copper is mined from BC. While the province isn't a newcomer to the copper mining-and-exploration scene, it's seen renewed interest in the past few years. Home to one of the world's largest open-pit mines, BC's Highland Valley Copper Mine, which is currently scheduled to be operational until at least 2025 and may be extended an additional 10–15 years. Recently, explorers have been scouring British Columbia, looking for new copper deposits and potential extensions of the same geology that lead to the Highland Valley Copper Mine. There are dozens of miners and explorers currently operating in British Columbia, including Copper Mountain Mining Corp. (TSX:CUM)

Zambia

Zambia's copper resources gained extra attention this year over the bidding war for Equinox Minerals, with analysts attributing the majority of interest in Equinox to its Zambian-based Lumwana copper mine. When Barrick Gold emerged from the bidding war as the winner, company executives were quick to point out they were interested in Equinox's copper assets—not attempting to become a diversified miner. Zambia will produce an estimated 750 Kt. copper in 2011 and is targeting annual production of 1 Mt. by 2015 and 1.5 Mt. by 2020. Its copper industry has undergone a boom over the past 10 years, since the privatization of state-owned Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines Ltd. There's been a flood of investment into Zambia after privatization—more than $400M has been spent on exploration in the past decade.

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