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Global scramble for copper spurs Marubeni, Mitsubishi to dig deep

Japanese trading houses expand mining as EVs and wind turbines boost demand

Workers look out over an open pit copper mine in Antofagasta, Chile.

TOKYO -- Japan's trading companies look to expand their global copper mining operations in anticipation of growing demand for the metal used in electric vehicles and wind power as the best deposits become scarce.

Marubeni wants to expand the Minera Centinela mine in Chile, jointly owned with Antofagasta of the U.K., to the south of the existing site. A new concentrator for processing of the ore also would be built under plans to increase annual production by half to 450,000 tons.

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