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Why there’s a massive copper shortage

Demand for copper is surging.

The red metal, considered a barometer for economic health, is a vital component for the construction and defense industries as well as a key component in electric cars, wind turbines and the power grid.

But mining companies are having a hard time keeping up.

Existing mines and projects under construction will meet only 80% of copper needs by 2030, according to the International Energy Agency.

“High-grade economic copper resources are not abundant, these things aren’t all over the place, you have to go find them,” said Chris LaFemina, global metals and mining analyst at Jefferies.

Inflation and the high costs associated with building a new mine have also been a deterrent. 

To look at the challenges facing copper producers, CNBC got a behind the scenes look at Rio Tinto’s Kennecott mining operation outside of Salt Lake City.

Watch the video to learn more.

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