There are few things more exasperating to Londoners than the inability for trains to run on time, it is part of the daily ritual for many and whilst the weather has been very warm throughout Spring, hot trains packed full of commuters is no laughing matter. I was rather feeling fed up with late running trains (that recently seem to have increased) due to points failures, when it was pointed out that one of the main reasons for the plight of commuters is the huge rise in the price of copper. Hey? well it seems that there are copious amounts of copper serving the tracks and it is being stolen faster than it can be replaced. Hence the points failures and delays. It seems that the rail companies are not terribly good at protecting their tracks from thieves, who are stealing on an industrial scale costing millions. So we could probably do with a few more British Transport Police…
So it is little wonder that the China Development Bank has recently loaned Kazakhstan’s largest copper miner Kazakhmys $1.5bn (in addition to the $2.7bn) to help boost its production by as much as 60%. China, like the rest of us needs copper… for all that electric wiring that is being lined in new buildings and infrastructure. All of which applies further pressure on the price of copper, which in turn eventually filters down to the cost of a train ticket. The rise in the price of commodities would also help explain the 47% rise in net income of Glencore to $1.3bn.
If the trains eventually grind to a halt (can you imagine the problems for the Olympics!) then there is of course always the prospect of working or cycling to work. Perhaps for many a good use of their Timberland boots, who have just been acquired for a blistering £1.23bn by VF Corp who own brands like The North Face, Vans and Wrangler Clothing.

Here is a short video about copper mining in Chile, I couldn’t find anything about copper mining in Kazakhstan.

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