Activities related to Cesco Week and the CRU World Copper Conference concluded this week with more questions than answers. Leading copper mining executives, copper consumers (smelters) and financiers discussed the future of the industry. The prevailing consensus was that demand for copper would remain healthy and prices should improve in the future. Meanwhile, copper producers grapple with an increasing need for water and power to process more rock to produce the same amount of copper because of declining ore grades. Smelters were also discussing new ways to reduce the amount of pollution they generate.
On the evening of Wednesday, April 15, more than 2,000 people gathered for the Cesco Dinner at Club Hipico. The keynote speaker was former Chilean President Ricardo Lagos, who touched on many of the same themes discussed throughout the week. He also talked about environmental issues and regulations and the need for Chile to remain competitive in world copper markets.