Big Story 10

Exploration forum canceled in Chile as copper price fall bites

SANTIAGO (Reuters) - An exploration forum slated to take place next month in Chile as part of one of the copper industry’s biggest annual events has been canceled, as a fall in the copper price has hurt demand, organizers said on Wednesday.

The Exploration Forum, which would have been in its ninth year, was due to take place in Santiago on April 4. It has become the traditional opener to the CESCO/CRU week, a copper-focused event that draws attendees from across the global industry.

“The decision is due to the adjustments that the mining industry is going through,” said the organizers, non-profit CESCO and Editec, a local specialist publisher, in a statement.

CESCO is working on an alternative, free-of-charge event for some of the participants on the same day in a different location, a CESCO director told Reuters.

The CESCO/CRU week promises to be a sober affair compared to the 2000’s, when copper was booming. Cooling demand from key buyer China has led the price of the base metal below a six-year low, drying up new investment and leading miners to cut output and jobs.

Reporting by Fabian Cambero; Writing by Rosalba O’Brien; Editing by Phil Berlowitz