JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – The United Nations Population Division expects 3-billion more people to urbanise in the next 37 years, with significant inherent opportunities for mining, Chamber of Mines of South Africa senior executive Roger Baxter reports.
Urbanisation drives demand for minerals and metals and the materials-intensive nature of growth in emerging economies is expected to escalate in the next decade, caused by continued urbanisation and industrialisation.
The infrastructure expenditure to accommodate global urbanisation is significant as is the quantity of minerals required to support it.
“Supply will struggle to meet the growth in demand,” Baxter calculates.
Some 800-million people will urbanise in Africa, the population of which is expected to double to 2-billion by 2050, and close to another 1-billion will urbanise in India, China and the rest of Asia in the same period.
“Despite the volatility in the short-term, the long-term fundamentals remain in place for continued growth in commodity demand,” he adds.
China’s economy has stabilised and is expected to grow at close to 8% in 2013 and the US economy is showing positive signs of recovery, with consumer confidence rising.
Fixed investment will mostly be into infrastructure in emerging economies.
The overall fixed investment rates are currently at some 25% of gross domestic product at the global level.
The critical minerals at greenfield project level are linked to the urbanisation and industrialisation theme, with copper taking the lead at 27% of total investment, followed by iron-ore at 21%, thermal coal at 16% and gold at 15%.