Chile, the world’s largest copper producer and exporter, boosted its copper output by 6.5% year-on-year in June. That’s a welcome sign for a country as dependent on its mining sector as Chile. (Mining accounts for 15% of Chile’s economic output.) But while the numbers for June were better than expected, few think Chile’s copper production will continue growing as fast as it has in recent months.
Aging mines, angry miners, and tumbling copper prices have been hurting the industry in Chile, which produces roughly a third of the world’s copper. The country already lowered its expected copper output for 2013 in the face of lower global copper prices and weakening demand from the world’s largest metals importer, China, where Chile ships almost a quarter of its exports.