Rio Tinto, Mongolia Spar Over Oyu Tolgoi: Commodity Boom Over?

“Rio Tinto, the world’s second-largest mining company, said on Aug. 14 that it will cut 1,700 jobs at Oyu Tolgoi after a $5 billion expansion of the project was put on hold last month,” Reuters reported. “But the real issue is how long it will take for Mongolia to get significant amounts of money from the mine, which is slated to boost the economy by 35 percent by 2020.”

RELATED: Read our earlier analysis on the Oyu Tolgoi copper mine here.

Today’s Copper Prices

Chinese copper bar moved up 1.2 percent on Friday, August 16, the day’s biggest change. The Chinese copper cash price gained 1.2 percent. The price of Chinese copper wire increased 1.2 percent. The price of Chinese bright copper scrap saw little movement.

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The Japanese copper cash price finished the market day up 0.3 percent per metric ton. Weakening prices followed two days of improvement as the price of US copper producer grade 122 dropped 0.2 percent. After improving for two days, the price of US copper producer grade 110 declined 0.2 percent. The price of US copper producer grade 102, following a couple days of improvement, fell by 0.2 percent.

On the LME, the copper 3-month price fell 0.7 percent to $7,248 per metric ton. The cash price of primary copper continues its trend downwards. Finishing the day at $7,225 per metric ton, it dropped 0.6 percent on the LME.

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