Xstrata PLC : Copper Market Fundamentals Remain Robust -Xstrata Executive
06/14/2012| 01:51pm US/Eastern
Despite the uncertainty generated by the euro zone's debt crisis, copper market fundamentals remain robust, a top copper executive at global miner Xstrata PLC (XTA.LN) said Thursday.
While remaining above $3.30 a pound, copper prices have retreated sharply in recent weeks amid global market volatility.
In January-May, copper prices averaged $3.73/lb., slightly lower than the $4.00/lb. average posted in 2011, according to Chilean state copper commission Cochilco.
"Obviously, there's uncertainty, but fundamentals are still solid," said Xstrata Copper division chief executive Charlie Sartain.
China continues to demand the industrial metal at a healthy pace and the U.S. economy is showing signs of a slight recovery, he told reporters in Chile after the mining company released several sustainability reports.
While declining to provide an exact copper price outlook, Mr. Sartain said Xstrata evaluates its projects based on medium- and long-term price projections.
"It's very difficult to foresee what's going to happen to copper prices, but the market remains strong and should stay that way."
In Chile, Xstrata owns the Lomas Bayas mine and Altonorte smelter. It also holds a 44% stake in Collahuasi, one of the world's largest copper mines.
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