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War in Ukraine speeds up green transition, boosts copper demand-Anglo American exec

The Russia-Ukraine war has quickened countries’ transition to renewable energy, underpinning current and future demand for copper, a company executive at global miner Anglo American PLC said.

Some countries have ramped their use of renewable energy this year after the war in the Ukraine disrupted the energy market and caused supply shortage in Europe. That trend has fuelled appetite for copper, which is used in both solar and wind power plants, as well as in electric vehicles.

“Everything we talk about in terms of energy transition is about copper,” Anglo American’s CEO of Base Metals Ruben Fernandes told Reuters in an interview.

“This war somehow amplifies the situation. In a way it’s good for copper.”

Anglo American, a major copper producer, owns copper assets in Chile and Peru – the world’s two biggest copper-producing countries.

“It will depend on supply and … all the challenges we’ll face or could face,” he said.

“With all this new demand coming from EVs and energy transition and all these new areas of consumption, (copper) consumption is very positive,” he said.

Fernandes expected inflation generally to have peaked, but said the industry still faced uncertainty over the Russia-Ukraine war and the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We need to learn how to deal with that,” he said.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Mai Nguyen in Singapore; Editing by Ana Nicolaci da Costa)

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