The price of aluminum ore is rising in China.
But the mining industry is bracing for another bump in the road.
Industry analysts say that China’s mining boom is expected to continue this year, which could boost the price of copper, aluminum and zinc ore.
And with mining costs rising by over 70 percent in the past year, the price could rise even more by the end of 2018, said Jeffery Wojcik, chief investment officer at the investment advisory firm Lazard.
The mining boom could bring about a price surge of as much as 60 percent in 2020, said Wojcicki.
That would make aluminum ore the most expensive commodity in the world, even more than gold and platinum, he said.
The price could go as high as $600 a tonne.
The mining boom has also driven up the price for steel, according to a report released by the National Mining Association last week.
That price spike would be accompanied by another boom in iron ore, which is currently selling for as much in the United States as copper, Wojczicki said.
Iron ore production is rising faster than aluminum and steel production.
But it is the mineral from South Africa, which has been the hardest hit by the mining boom, that is expected by analysts to be the hardest-hit mineral in the next five years.
“South Africa is the world’s leading producer of copper and zinc, so it’s not a coincidence that copper is at the center of the mining market,” said Woyce.
The industry will be hit hard by the price spike.
Mining costs are now up by 70 percent since the beginning of the year.
Wojzic said that while copper prices have gone up by around $40 a ton, aluminum prices are down by 40 percent.
But zinc prices are also on the rise.
And in 2018, aluminum miners are expecting the price to increase by as much 50 percent.
That’s according to an industry-funded report by the U.S.-based Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IERFA).
The IERFA report, released on Thursday, estimates that aluminum prices will increase by a whopping 80 percent in 2021, according the report.
It also says that the prices for nickel, cobalt and zinc are expected to rise by as high 70 percent by 2022.
The copper industry is taking note.
Woycickis group said in a statement that it would “continue to support a robust supply chain and the supply of steel for the global steel market and will monitor the situation closely.”
And Wojkcik said that it’s unclear how much aluminum miners will be able to get at the current price spike, which will also lead to a jump in zinc prices.