SOURCE: The Bedford Report

The Bedford Report

July 15, 2011 08:16 ET

Soaring Copper Prices Offset Smelting Costs for Explorers

The Bedford Report Provides Equity Research on Taseko Mines & Teck Resources

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - Jul 15, 2011) - Copper prices have skyrocketed in recent weeks as strong growth in Japan and China has offset a demand slump in the United States. Copper prices are sensitive to the market's economic outlook as the red metal is used to make wire, pipe, buildings, automobiles and appliances. The Bedford Report examines the outlook for companies in the Copper Industry and provides stock research on Taseko Mines Ltd. (NYSE Amex: TGB) (TSX: TKO) and Teck Resources Limited (NYSE: TCK) (TSX: TCK-B). Access to the full company reports can be found at:

The International Copper Study Group (ICSG) believes Copper supplies are shrinking. The ICSG projects the deficit this year to climb to 377,000 tonnes. Going forward the group expects the scarce availability of smelters to process the rising supply of concentrates will create tightness in the supply chain.

China has issued orders to slash capacity at steel and base metal smelters as it revamps its industrial sector. The world's top consumer of copper, aluminum and steel told local governments to phase out more than 2 million tonnes of aluminum, copper, lead and zinc smelting capacity in a plan to crack down on energy-heavy and polluting industries, around 13 percent more than targets set in May.

The Bedford Report releases market research on the copper industry so investors can stay ahead of the crowd and make the best investment decisions to maximize their returns. Take a few minutes to register with us free at and get exclusive access to our numerous analyst reports and industry newsletters.

Reduced supply has been a mixed blessing for Copper miners. Due to the drop in available smelters, mining companies are likely to pay higher smelting fees in the near future, although "the current level may remain to the end of this year," says Masanori Okada, chief executive officer of JX Nippon Mining & Metals Corp.

For now, the higher Copper prices have allowed several miners to post surging revenues. For instance, Teck Resources, Canada's largest base-metals producer, said first-quarter profit rose more than three-fold as copper prices climbed.

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