Copper craze: Top profit fantasy for this mining stock!

Last Updated: 9. Januar 2024By

Perhaps you remember: A few months ago, Mark Bristow expressed his opinion on copper in an interview with CNBC. In short, the CEO of Barrick Gold referred to the commodity as the most strategic metal of all. No wonder, as copper is a highly promising market due to its importance for the technologies of the energy transition (wind turbines, solar systems, electric cars, heat pumps, power infrastructure, etc.).

Barrick Gold on copper course In any case, Bristow wants to transform the Canadian gold company into one of the leading copper players. By the early 2030s, Barrick is expected to achieve an annual production of 450,000 tonnes of copper. That would be more than twice as much as in 2022.

In the picture you can see the current portfolio of Barrick Gold:

Source: Barrick Gold (

The green-framed sites (Lumwana, Zaldivar and Jabal Sayid) mark the copper mines that the mining company currently operates or in which it is involved. But the end is far from being reached. Now Barrick has achieved an important milestone in this matter. The focus is on the Chilean copper producer Antofagasta.

Copper from Chile: Barrick and Antofagasta establish new joint venture As media reports show, Barrick has launched a joint venture worth 95 million US dollars together with the industry representative. The joint company is expected to develop the copper project Minera El Encierro in the Alto del Carmen municipality in Chile.

Initially, Barrick and Antofagasta plan to conduct an exploration with more than 35 concessions on an area of 9,400 hectares. Around 60 drilling platforms are expected to thoroughly examine the underground of the area over a period of five years. According to reports, Antofagasta will hold a majority stake in the project and also lead the operational business.

Untapped potential Interesting fact: Alto del Carmen and the mining project El Encierro are located in the middle of the El Indio-Pascua belt, which stretches across the northern part of Chile within the giant Atacama Desert. This region is known for its great resource potential – including gold, silver and copper. At the same time, El Indio-Pascua is still largely unexplored in many areas.

According to media reports, the concession areas promoted by Barrick and Antofagasta are still 85 percent unexplored. So, there is a good chance that the companies will be able to uncover new, previously unknown profit potential on site.

Barrick is already cooperating with Antofagasta in the Zaldivar project, which is also located in northern Chile. Here, too, the partners have a joint venture. In 2022, Zaldivar produced around 44,000 tonnes of copper. The annual yield of El Encierro, on the other hand, remains to be seen. In the coming months and years, the mining companies are likely to publish their first assessments on this.

Mega-deal ahead? Barrick apparently interested in First Quantum But Barrick is not only targeting new exploration projects in copper, but also possibly a mega-acquisition. It is no secret that Barrick CEO Bristow is interested in Canadian competitor First Quantum Minerals. Now the chance to take action could arise for the manager. The background is the debacle surrounding the Cobre Panama copper mine of First Quantum, which was recently declared unconstitutional by the local Supreme Court and has since been put on hold.

As a result, First Quantum’s share price has plummeted. In late October alone, the stock crashed by almost 50 percent in a matter of days. Barrick could take advantage of this weakness and take over First Quantum at a bargain price, according to the current rumors. In the meantime, there are already first exploratory talks going on behind the scenes (as of: 01/07/2024).

In any case, CEO Bristow is considered an experienced mining manager who is said to be able to get problematic mining locations back on track. However, whether he would succeed in Panama remains to be seen, given the considerable resistance of local population groups against the copper mine. But even without the troubled location in Panama, First Quantum offers several copper assets that would make Barrick Gold one of the leading global players in one fell swoop.

My conclusion for you In my opinion, it is logical that Barrick Gold is stepping on the gas in copper. The metal is perhaps the most important cornerstone of the energy transition. Renowned investment banks such as Citi or Goldman Sachs therefore attribute enormous return potential to the commodity.

At the recent COP28 UN Climate Conference, leading economies also agreed to significantly accelerate the expansion of renewable energies by 2030, even more than originally planned. This gives copper an additional demand perspective – while supply is expected to lag behind, according to experts.

In addition to the already strong gold price, Barrick is currently offering another lucrative investment opportunity. However, as an investor, note that the copper potential should be understood as medium to long term. So, bring enough patience with you.

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