Jul 24

Screaming-Smiley

Copper, China And World Trade Are All Screaming That The Next Economic Crisis Is Here (Economic Collapse, July 23, 2015):

If you are looking for a “canary in a coal mine” type of warning for the entire global economy, you have a whole bunch to pick from right now.  “Dr. Copper” just hit a six year low, Morgan Stanley is warning that this could be the worst oil price crash in 45 years, the Chinese economy is suddenly stalling out, and world trade is falling at the fastest pace that we have seen since the last financial crisis.  In order not to see all of the signs that are pointing toward a global economic slowdown, you would have to be willingly blind.  In recent months, I have been writing article after article detailing how the exact same patterns that happened just before the stock market crash of 2008 are playing out once again.  We are watching a slow-motion train wreck unfold right before our eyes, and things are only going to get worse from here. Continue reading »

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Jul 06

Welcome to the recovery!

Prepare for collapse …


–  Copper Crashes, In Danger Of Breaching 15-Year Support Level (ZeroHedge, July 6, 2015):

While the PBOC was literally everything in its power to keep the SHCOMP green (it was too late to save the Shenzhen, the Chinext or most Chinese stocks as the PBOC’s firepower was limited to just the largest companies), it forgot about that other proxy of overall Chinese health: copper which, as the chart below shows, plunged by 4% to the lowest price since February when the oil commodity crash left everyone speechless and was threatening to destroy the entire junk bond space.

copper 2015-07-06_6-15-31

But while in this centrally-planned world, in which nobody even denies anymore that all markets have become central banker playthings, fundamentals are irrelevant and few have a clue what this latest crash in copper may signify (some do, and it isn’t pretty) an even more disturbing clue for the fate of this erstwhile “market doctor” is revealed when looking at the long-term price chart. Here, as SocGen notes, copper is in danger of breaching a huge 15 year support line… after which it is free fall for a long, long time.

From SocGen

Copper is probing again the 15-year trend line support (5550 levels). Continue reading »

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Feb 24

Commodities Crushed: WTI Plunges To $48 Handle, Copper Breaks Key Support (ZeroHedge, Feb 23, 2015):

Perhaps the world is beginning to realize that “it’s the demand, stupid” as crude oil prices are collapsing this morning (not helped by “all out production” news from Oman). While ‘markets’ rallied peculiarly after last week’s epic surge in inventories and production data, that has all been given back as one trader noted “the market got ahead of itself, even though the rig count has been falling it is not until mid-yr that we are going to see some impact on supply.” WTI is back under $49.  To complete the gloom, Copper is probing lower, breaking key support with projections to 222.50 if this move takes shape.

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Jan 23

20150123_EOD

Crude, Copper, & Euro Currency Crushed By King Dollar’s Best Week In Over 3 Years (ZeroHedge, Jan 23, 2015)

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Jun 05

–  More On China’s “Missing Commodity” Scandal: Fallout Spreads As Banks Get Involved (ZeroHedge, June 5, 2014):

While we have warned about the problem with near-infinitely rehypothecated physical/funding commodities/metals, be they gold or copper, many times in the past, and most recently here, it was only yesterday that China finally admitted it has a major problem involving not just the commodities participating in funding deals – in this case copper and aluminum – but specifically their infinite rehypothecation, which usually results in the actual underlying metal mysteriously “disappearing”, as in it never was there to begin with.

And disappearing commodities is exactly what we reported yesterday the third largest Chinese port of Qingdao is being investigated for after a source at a local warehouse said that “it appears there is a discrepancy in metal that should be there and metal that is actually there… We hear the discrepancy is 80,000 tonnes of aluminium and 20,000 tonnes of copper, but we hear that the volumes will actually be higher. It’s either missing or it was never there – there have been triple issuing of documentation.

Continue reading »

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Jun 04

From the article:

“So if tens of thousands of tons of copper and aluminum are suddenly “missing”, one can assuredly say: “at least the gold is still there.” Right?


China Scrambling After “Discovering” Thousands Of Tons Of Rehypothecated Copper, Aluminum Missing (ZeroHedge, May 4, 2014):

“Banks are worried about their exposure,” warns one warehousing source, “there is a scramble for people to head down there at the minute and make sure that their metal that they think is covered by a warehouse receipt actually exists.”

The rehypothecated catastrophe that we discussed in great detail here (copper financing), here (all commodities), and here (global contagion) appears to be gathering speed as the China’s northeastern port of Qingdao has halted shipments of aluminum and copper due to an investigation by authorities after they found “there is a discrepancy in metal that should be there and metal that is actually there.”

20140604_cop

Copper prices are tumbling already (despite Gartman’s most recent prognostication on Dr. Copper’s China recovery meme) as the world’s 7th largest port disallows any shipments until the probe is complete. Continue reading »

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Mar 20

Chinese Stocks Enter Bear Market Following 2 More Defaults Overnight (ZeroHedge, March 20, 2014):

Following the default of 2 more corporations last night, Hang Seng’s index of China Enterprises plunged to 8-month lows and officially entered bear market territory. Overnight angst in the Chinese currency markets (which saw the Yuan trade back to 1-year lows) has sparked broad commodity weakness (as CCFD unwinds en masse) with copper giving back most of yesterday’s major short squeeze gains back. Chinese corporate bond prices also tumbled to one-month lows.

Hang Seng’s China Enterprise Index (the most liquid vehicle for trading Chinese stocks for foreigners) has entered a bear market

20140320_china1

as cash-for-commodity financing deals continue the unwind, Continue reading »

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Mar 13

See also:

RECOVERY: Baltic Dry Plunges 8%, Near Most In 6 Years As Iron Ore At Chinese Ports Hits All Time High


Is “Dr. Copper” Foreshadowing A Stock Market Crash Just Like It Did In 2008? (Economic Collapse, March 12, 2014):

Is the price of copper trying to tell us something?  Traditionally, “Dr. Copper” has been a very accurate indicator of where the global economy is heading next.  For example, back in 2008 the price of copper dropped from nearly $4.00 to under $1.50 in just a matter of months.  And now it appears that another big decline in the price of copper is starting to happen.  So far this year, the price of copper has dropped from a high of $3.40 back in January to a price of $2.95 as I write this article, and many analysts are warning that this is just the beginning.  By itself, this should be quite alarming to investors, but as you will see below there are a whole host of other signs that a stock market crash may be rapidly approaching. Continue reading »

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Mar 10

Celebrating China’s First Bond Default: Copper Limit Down, Yuan Crashes Most In Six Years (ZeroHedge, March 9, 2014):

It would appear the fecal matter is starting to come into contact with the rotating object in China. Worrying headlines are beginning to mount on the back of real economic events (an actual default and a collapse in exports):

  • *COPPER IN SHANGHAI FALLS BY 5% DAILY LIMIT TO 46,670 YUAN A TON
  • *CHINA YUAN WEAKENS 0.46% TO 6.1564 VS U.S. DOLLAR
  • *YUAN DROPS MOST SINCE 2008

Aside from that Iron ore prices are crumbling, Asian stocks are dropping, Chinese corporate bond prices aee falling at their fastest pace in almost 4 months, and all this as 7-day repo drops to one-year lows (as banks hoard liquidity).

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Sep 09


JPMorgan certainly wants to slaughter some more muppets


JPMorgan Closes Precious Metals Sell Recommendation, Goes “Tactically Overweight” Commodities (ZeroHedge, Sep 8,  2013):

One of the most underreported sentiment shifts of the past week was JPM’s announcement late on Friday, that the firm quietly went long commodities – specifically base metals and copper (in addition to energy) – and the firm also closed it “sell” (i.e., underweight) in precious metals. This is not surprising: we had noted the ongoing purchasing of gold by JPM over the past two month (in part to restore its depleted gold vault inventory) when the yellow metal not only stabilized but promptly entered a bull market, returning 20% in a short period of time. And as gold was rising, JPM was advising its clients to sell. It seems JPM now has more than enough gold stashed away, and as the September shock is set to unwind, even JPM may be seeking the safety of gold, and the usual other hard asset suspects, if and when events escalate out of control, resulting in another “risk off” phase.

From JPM:

Commodities: We have turned tactically long commodities and OW vs. cash and fixed income.

Continue reading »

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Jun 16

The UN prepares to go to war for the first time, with a 3,000-strong task force sent to fight rebels in the Congo (Daily Mail, June 14, 2013)

  • 3,000 UN troops are being deployed to the central African nation
  • It is the first time that the UN will be in direct control of a fighting force
  • Even normally-reluctant Russia and China voted in favour of the action
  • Mineral-rich Congo has been wracked by years of civil war
  • Conflict was originally sparked by the genocide in neighbouring Rwanda

The UN is about to go to war for the first time in its history after the Security Council voted unanimously to intervene to fight rebels in the Congo.

Around 3,000 UN troops wearing the blue insignia, are being deployed to the central African nation which has been wracked by years of civil war and lawlessness.

The UN has led a 14-year-long peacekeeping in a bid to end the ethic conflict which was sparked by the genocide in neighbouring Rwanda when thousands of Hutus fled into the Congo to evade justice.

Much of the fighting is now over the country’s natural resources which include large quantities of gold, copper, diamonds, and coltan (a mineral used in cell phones).

Continue reading »

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May 26

Mystery Surrounding Collapse Of Hong Kong Mercantile Exchange Deepens; Four Arrested (ZeroHedge, May 26, 2013)

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May 08

This is the ‘Greatest Depression’.


The Price Of Copper And 11 Other Recession Indicators That Are Flashing Red (Economic Collapse, May 7, 2013):

There are a dozen significant economic indicators that are warning that the U.S. economy is heading into a recession.  The Dow may have soared past the 15,000 mark, but the economic fundamentals are telling an entirely different story.  If historical patterns hold up, the economy is heading for a very rocky stretch.  For example, the price of copper is called “Dr. Copper” by many economists because it so accurately forecasts the future direction of the U.S. economy.  And so far this year the price of copper is way down.  But that is not the only indicator that is worrying economists.  Home renovation spending has fallen dramatically, retail spending is crashing in a way not seen since the last recession, manufacturing activity and consumer confidence are both declining, and troubling economic data continues to come pouring out of Asia and Europe.  So why do U.S. stocks continue to skyrocket?  Will U.S. financial markets be able to continue to be divorced from reality?  Unfortunately, as we have seen so many times in the past, when stocks do catch up with reality they tend to do so very rapidly.  So you better put on your seatbelts because a crash is coming at some point.

But most average Americans are not that concerned with the performance of the stock market.  They just want to be able to go to work, pay the bills and provide for their families.  During the last recession, millions of Americans lost their jobs and millions of Americans lost their homes.  If we have another major recession, that will happen again.  Sadly, it appears that another major recession is quickly approaching.

The following are 12 recession indicators that are flashing red… Continue reading »

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Dec 12

Precious Metals Plunge And India’s Industrial Production Crashes (ZeroHedge, Dec. 12, 2011):

The metals space has had a rather disconcerting start to the week this evening with Silver and Copper dropping almost 2% from their opening levels and then Gold following suit. All this as the USD inches very gradually up tracking almost perfectly with Crude for now. These moves seem very liquidation-like in their velocity but have for now stabilized at the lows. The last few minutes saw some of the ugliest macro data we have seen in a while come out of India as it’s Industrial Production growth missed expectations by a mile falling to levels only seen in the middle of the global economic shutdown in Q1 2009. So another leg in the EM-will-save-us-all stool just got kicked out and still we are to believe the US will decouple and ‘muddle-through’?

The metals are ‘decoupling’ from oil for now and it was interesting that the reaction in Gold was ‘delayed’ a few hours on the simultaneous drop in Copper and Silver. They are extending their losses now after the India IP print…

ES is leaking back from its highs but is trading in a narrow range so far and maybe 3-4pts rich to broad risk assets for now.

Charts: Bloomberg

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Sep 25

See also:
Gold And Silver Plunge-Fest – Case Closed: CME Hikes Gold, Silver, Copper Margins


“CME raised gold margins twice in August. Including the increases that take effect Monday, the margin increases since Aug. 11 total 55%.”

CME Raises Gold, Silver, Copper Margin Requirements (Wall Street Journal, Sep. 24, 2011):

Exchange operator CME Group Inc. will raise the collateral requirements for trading in gold, copper and silver futures after a volatile week.

Gold margins will be raised by 21%, silver margins by 16%, and copper margins by 18%, effective at the close of trading Monday, CME said in an email after trading closed Friday.

Following the change, speculative investors in the benchmark 100-troy ounce gold contract must put up $11,475 to open a position and maintain $8,500 of that to keep it overnight. Producers and consumers of the precious metal must put up $8,500 to open a position, and the same figure to hold it overnight.

Continue reading »

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Feb 09

… which is another reason why the US never wants to leave Afghanistan.

US ‘Discovers’ Vast Mineral Riches Worth Nearly $1 Trillion In Afghanistan


(Bloomberg) — Afghan minister of mines Wahidullah Shahrani said geologists have discovered untapped mineral deposits worth an estimated $3 trillion, which could help drive economic growth and reduce unemployment.

“There is a massive copper deposit located in Balkhab district of Saripul province,” Sharani told reporters in the capital Kabul today at a joint press conference with U.S. deputy under secretary of defense Paul Brinkley. “It is valued at billions of U.S. dollars and one of the biggest untapped copper mines in Afghanistan.”

The Afghan Geological Survey, which is mapping the country’s mineral resources with help from the Task Force for Business and Stability Operation set up by Brinkley, estimates the country’s mineral wealth at $3 trillion. The estimate is based on a survey of 30 percent of the country’s land mass. Afghanistan may hold unexplored mineral deposits worth as much as $1 trillion, the Pentagon said in June, citing U.S. Geological Survey data.

The new copper discovery is bigger than the current Aynak copper deposit in Logar province, south east of Kabul, according to a report published by the GSA today.

Continue reading »

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Dec 05

Related article:

Mystery trader captures 80pc of London’s copper market (Telegraph)

Join the campaign to crash JP Morgan and protect your assets:

Max Keiser: Want JP Morgan to Crash? Buy Silver!



The trade was described in the LME’s daily update as ‘between 50pc and 80pc’ of the 350,000 tonnes of copper in reserves

The American investment bank JP Morgan is the mystery trader that grabbed more than half the copper on the London Metal Exchange, The Daily Telegraph has learned.

The $1.5bn (£1bn) trade was described in the LME’s daily update as “between 50pc and 80pc” of the 350,000 tonnes in reserves. This pushed up the price for the immediate delivery of copper to $8,700 – its highest level since the financial crisis in October 2008.

A high premium on the spot copper price normally reflects fear of a shortage of the metal, which is in hot demand across the world as a vital component in a mass of products from electrical gadgets to wiring.

A source close to the situation said that JP Morgan had bought the copper contracts, adding that amount is closer to the “lower portion of the range” disclosed by the LME.

Traders said JP Morgan’s name had been circulating the market all day as the most likely buyer, especially since it is about to launch a physically-backed “exchange-traded fund” (ETF) in copper imminently.

One metals broker dealing on the LME said: “The story is that they’re positioning themselves in front of the ETF. There’s been a lot of speculation it’s them.”

Traders noted that there was no physical shortage of copper in the markets but that fears of a squeeze have persisted ever since a raft of investment banks announced their intention to launch ETFs this autumn.

Last month metal traders wrote to the Financial Services Authority (FSA) claiming that licensing the funds, which are also likely to be launched by BlackRock, Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank, may amount to “approving the next financial bubble”.

Continue reading »

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Jun 14

us-discovers-vast-mineral-riches-worth-nearly-1-trillion-in-afghanistan
A bleak Ghazni Province seems to offer little, but a Pentagon study says it may have among the world’s largest deposits of lithium. (The New York Times)

WASHINGTON — The United States has discovered nearly $1 trillion in untapped mineral deposits in Afghanistan, far beyond any previously known reserves and enough to fundamentally alter the Afghan economy and perhaps the Afghan war itself, according to senior American government officials.

The previously unknown deposits – including huge veins of iron, copper, cobalt, gold and critical industrial metals like lithium – are so big and include so many minerals that are essential to modern industry that Afghanistan could eventually be transformed into one of the most important mining centers in the world, the United States officials believe.

An internal Pentagon memo, for example, states that Afghanistan could become the “Saudi Arabia of lithium,” a key raw material in the manufacture of batteries for laptops and BlackBerrys.

The vast scale of Afghanistan’s mineral wealth was discovered by a small team of Pentagon officials and American geologists. The Afghan government and President Hamid Karzai were recently briefed, American officials said.

While it could take many years to develop a mining industry, the potential is so great that officials and executives in the industry believe it could attract heavy investment even before mines are profitable, providing the possibility of jobs that could distract from generations of war. Continue reading »

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Dec 03

Wait until the dollar is starting to collapse. Then you will see commodities rise like the sun.
Commodities will outshine everything else.
__________________________________________________________________________________________

The price of key industrial metals has fallen further over the last four months than occurred during the worst years of Great Depression between 1929 and 1933, according to research by Barclays Capital.

Worker at the Chuquicamata copper mine, 1,000 kms north of Santiago, Chile.
Worker at the Chuquicamata copper mine, 1,000 kms north of Santiago, Chile. Photo: AFP

Kevin Norrish, the bank’s commodities strategist, said the average fall in the price of copper, lead, and zinc has been roughly 60pc since the peak in July this year. All three metals were traded on the London Metal Exchange in the inter-war years so it is possible to make a comparison.

Continue reading »

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Jun 09

The Varanus Island gas explosion and subsequent loss of around 30 percent of the state’s gas supplies is creating serious problems for the state’s massive mining industry and will affect productivity and supply for months, rather than weeks.

“Western Australia supplies about a third of the world’s iron ore, 20 percent of the gold and tens of thousands of tonnes of copper, nickel, zinc, lead and other industrial staples.”
___________________________________________________________________________________________

PERTH (Reuters) – Western Australian miners, which supply the world with metals and iron ore, fear sharp falls in productivity and lay-offs after a gas-plant explosion robbed them of power, industry and local government officials said on Sunday.

“This is very serious,” Reg Howard Smith, head of the state’s Chamber of Minerals and Energy, said after crisis talks with some of the world’s biggest resources firms, including BHP Billiton BHP..AX(BLT.L), Rio Tinto (RIO.AX)(RIO.L) and BP (BP.L).

“We’re seeing some stand-downs of staff occurring and we’re still deciding what needs to be done,” Smith told Reuters.

Western Australia lost about a third of its energy supplies last week when an explosion crippled a gas-handling plant on the tiny island of Varanus, about 100 km (62 miles) off Australia’s northwest coast. The Varanus plant, close to offshore gas fields, is operated by a unit of U.S.-based Apache Corp (APA.N).

Tim Wall, managing director of Apache’s Australian unit, said on Sunday he was sticking with an earlier estimate of “months, not weeks” before damage to the plant and associated gas pipelines was repaired and operations could restart.

Western Australia’s state government is trying to import more diesel from Asia to offset the drop in gas supplies, state premier Alan Carpenter said, noting that BP, which operates a diesel refinery in the state, was already at maximum production.

But getting diesel to remote, outback mines could take time.

“There is no wand to make this crisis disappear,” Carpenter told reporters on Sunday. “It’s one thing to get the diesel here on ships and another to where it’s needed by truck.”

Western Australia supplies about a third of the world’s iron ore, 20 percent of the gold and tens of thousands of tonnes of copper, nickel, zinc, lead and other industrial staples. Continue reading »

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May 09

The global free market for food and energy is facing its biggest threat in decades as a host of countries push through draconian measures to hold down prices, raising fears of a new “resource nationalism” that could endanger world food security.


Somali’s demonstrate against high food prices in the capital Mogadishu. At least two people were killed in clashes

India shocked the markets yesterday by suspending trading in futures contracts for a range of farm products in a bid to clamp down on alleged speculators and curb inflation, now running at 7.6pc.

The country’s Forward Markets Commission said contracts for soybean oil, chana (chickpeas), potatoes, and rubber had been banned for four months, even though a report by the Indian parliament last month concluded that soaring food costs had almost nothing to do with the futures contracts. Traders in Mumbai slammed the ban as an act of brazen political populism.

The move has been seen as a concession to India’s Communist MPs – key allies of premier Manmohan Singh – who want a full-fledged ban on futures trading in sugar, cooking oil, and grains.

As food and fuel riots spread across the world, a string of governments have resorted to steps that menace the free flow of food and key commodities. Argentina has banned beef exports, while Egypt and India have stopped shipments of rice.

Kazakhstan has prohibited wheat exports. Russia has slapped a 40pc export duty on shipments, and Pakistan a 35pc duty.

China, Cambodia, Malaysia, Philipines, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam have all imposed export controls or forms of rationing to ease the crisis.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has warned that this lurch towards national controls is becoming a threat to the open global system we all take for granted. “If not handled properly, this crisis could result in a cascade of others and affect political security around the world,” he said.

A new report by UBS says the scramble for scarce raw materials is turning ever more political, with ominous implications for ill-endowed societies that rely on imports.

“The bottom line is that countries with resources, particularly in food and energy are becoming more protective of these resources,” it said.

(I know I am repeating myself and I know that many are already well prepared. This is for the ones that are not:
Store food and water “NOW”. Do this in a relaxed manner because your brain shuts down when you are under stress and in survival mode. – The Infinite Unknown)

Continue reading »

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Apr 30

April 28 (Bloomberg) — As farmers confront mounting costs and riots erupt from Haiti to Egypt over food, Garry Niemeyer is paying the price for Wall Street’s speculation in grain markets.

Commodity-index funds control a record 4.51 billion bushels of corn, wheat and soybeans through Chicago Board of Trade futures, equal to half the amount held in U.S. silos on March 1. The holdings jumped 29 percent in the past year as investors bought grain contracts seeking better returns than stocks or bonds. The buying sent crop prices and volatility to records and boosted the cost for growers and processors to manage risk.

Niemeyer, who farms 2,200 acres in Auburn, Illinois, won’t use futures to protect the value of the crop he will harvest in October. With corn at $5.9075 a bushel, up from $3.88 last year, he says the contracts are too costly and risky. Investors want corn so much that last month they paid 55 cents a bushel more than grain handlers, the biggest premium since 1999. Continue reading »

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Jan 22

lab.jpg

Following research by Professor Bill Keevil at the University of Southampton showing that copper can significantly reduce the presence of MRSA, a Birmingham hospital is to launch an 18-month clinical trial next month (April 2007) to establish whether the installation of copper surfaces will kill MRSA and other hospital-acquired infections.

Laboratory tests by Professor Keevil, Director of the Environmental Healthcare Unit at the University of Southampton, have established that the natural antimicrobial properties of copper and copper alloys dramatically reduce the presence of MRSA compared with stainless steel, the most commonly used surface-metal in health institutions. The MRSA bacteria (staphylococci) on stainless steel remained fully active for days. On brass (an alloy of copper and zinc) they died in less than 5 hours and on pure copper the superbugs were eliminated in 30 minutes.

brasshandle.jpg
Professor Keevil explains that copper suffocates the germs. ‘The metal reacts with the bacteria and inhibits their respiration – in effect it stops them breathing. In fact if you look back in the literature the Egyptians were using copper thousands of years ago to treat infections!’

Selly Oak has been chosen for the Copper Clinical Trial because it is a multi-specialist centre with an advanced microbiology centre. One general medical ward is already having copper installed in preparation for the trial. Because 80 per cent of MRSA transmission is through surface contacts, stainless steel door handles and push-plates are being replaced by copper, along with bathroom taps, toilet flush-handles and grab rails. Even the pens used by the staff will be a high-copper brass. A similar ward next door will retain its traditional metal fittings and will act as a control in the experiment. If the laboratory results are successfully replicated, it is likely that thousands of hospitals across Europe will introduce copper alloy fittings.

Deputy Medical Director of the University Hospital Birmingham NHS Trust, Professor Tom Elliott, says: ‘Potentially it is very, very exciting if we find that copper actually works in a clinical environment, following the laboratory tests in Southampton and here in Birmingham.’

The tests show that it is not just MRSA that can be killed by copper. The newer threat, the extremely resistant Clostridium difficile can also be killed, as demonstrated by preliminary tests. Scientists are already considering wider medical applications for copper, including a possible defence against bird flu. Experiments by the Southampton team have shown that the metal can kill the human flu virus. Professor Keevil says, ‘Avian flu is almost identical to normal human flu so, although we haven’t done the work yet, we would predict the same results.’

The Copper Development Association has been working with the supply chain to support the development of copper and copper alloy healthcare products for the trial through the provision of information on the efficacy of different copper alloys and their suitability for different applications. www.cda.org.uk/antimicrobial.

13 March 2007

Source: University of Southampton

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