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Visual Capitalist

Introducing “Signals”, a New Book Concept from Visual Capitalist



The world is being bombarded with more and more information.

But today’s key decision makers and investors don’t want to receive more information, they want to achieve more understanding.

Signals from Noise

This month, Visual Capitalist is excited to announce our newest book endeavor, “Signals: Charting the New Direction of the Global Economy”

We envision “Signals” as a beautiful hardcover book that will be built from scratch with one specific aim: using our data-driven approach to show simple and clear takeaways on the trends that will define the next decade of the global economy.

Like our last book, we will be publishing it independently — and we need your help.

Read all about the “Signals” concept on our newly-launched Kickstarter page, where you can pre-order the book and join us on our latest journey.

Deadline for pledges: March 12th, 2020.

Pledge now before it’s too late!

PS – By pledging on Kickstarter above, you can get access to all kinds of goodies, such as discounted subscriptions to VC+, as well as exclusive branded versions of the book.


Visual Capitalist

6 Reasons Why Signals is a Great Holiday Gift

We’ve pulled together 6 reasons why our new coffee table style book Signals is the perfect gift to inspire and encourage this holiday season.




This year Christmas will be a little different. 

There’s uncertainty on whether family and friends will be able to gather over the holidays, and your annual work Christmas party may be virtual instead. That’s why this year, the act of giving is more important than ever.

We’ve pulled together 6 reasons why our new book Signals is the perfect gift to inspire and encourage, and why your loved ones deserve Signals under the tree.

Buy Signals as a Gift

1. It’s packed with brand new charts and visualizations.

The graphics in Signals were designed exclusively by our team for the book, so all 258 pages feature fresh new infographics, charts, and maps. 

Signals is custom printed on high quality paper to make the visuals really stand out, and is protected by a strong hardcover.

2. It’s a great gift for clients.

Keep your brand at the top-of-mind going into 2021 by sending Signals as a corporate gift.

Our customized bulk orders include custom book jackets, your company logo and colors, a personalized note, and discounted bulk pricing. 

Place your customized bulk order before November 30th to guarantee delivery before Christmas. Bulk orders typically take 7-8 working days to process. Please note that some international orders are experiencing shipping delays due to COVID-19.

3. As a result of the pandemic, people are reading more.

With no social obligations, no commute, and more time on our hands, there’s plenty opportunity to dive into a good book. 

Our latest book has 27 signals to explore, with hundreds of different charts and visualizations to check out when there’s a spare minute. 

4. Left your holiday shopping too late? 

If you cut it too fine for shipping, Signals is available as a PDF eBook, so readers can dive into all chapters on their phone, tablet, or desktop for an affordable $9.95 USD.

The eBook is instantly downloadable, so it can be enjoyed right away.

5. It’s the gift that keeps on giving.

Signals identifies simple and clear takeaways on the trends that will define the next decade.

The powerful data found throughout the book can be used as a reference point to better understand the factors shaping the future direction of the economy, enabling professionals and investors around the world to make smarter decisions. 

6. There’s something for everyone.

Readers can take a closer look at topics that interest them, while learning something new about areas they are less familiar with.

Chapters in the book include:

  • Money & Markets
  • Society & Demographics
  • Technological Innovation 
  • Environment
  • Digital World
  • Geopolitical Landscape

Take a look at the full table of contents below.

Other Useful Links

Buy Signals as the perfect holiday gift now – don’t miss out.

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Visualizing Copper’s Global Supply Chain

Copper is a global industry, from the mines of South America to refineries in Asia. However copper’s supply chain has several inherent risks.



Copper Supply Chain

Copper is all around us: in our homes, electronic devices, and transportation.

But before copper ends up in these products and technologies, the industry must mine, refine and transport this copper all over the globe.

Copper’s Supply Chain

This infographic comes to us from Trilogy Metals and it outlines copper’s supply chain from the mine to the refinery.

Copper's Supply Chain

Copper Deposits Around the World

Copper is a mineral that comes from the Earth’s crust. However, natural history did not evenly distribute it around the world. There are certain geological conditions that need to happen to make an economic deposit of copper.

There are two primary types of copper deposits:

  1. Porphyry Copper Deposits

    These copper ore deposits form from hydrothermal fluids coming from magma chambers below the copper deposit. These are currently the largest source of copper in the world.

  2. Sediment-hosted Copper Deposits

    These are copper deposits that occur in sedimentary rocks that are bound by layers. They are formed by the cooling of copper-bearing hydrothermal fluids.

Copper-containing rock or ore only has a small percentage of copper. Most of the rock is uneconomic material, known as gangue. There are two main copper ore types in mining: copper oxide ores and copper sulfide ores.

Both ore types can be economic, however, the most common source of copper ore is the sulfide ore mineral chalcopyrite, which accounts for ~50% of copper production.

Sulfide copper ores are the most profitable ores because they have high copper content, and refiners easily separate copper from the gangue. Sulfide ores are not as abundant as the oxide ores.

Copper Trade Flows

While copper is a global business, there are clear leaders in the production and refinement of copper based on geology and demand. Chile is the major source for copper, exporting both mined and refined copper.

In a list of the 20 biggest copper mines, 11 reside in Chile and Peru accounting for 40% of mined copper. Meanwhile, China is a leading importer and exporter of refined copper, and it’s home to 9 of the 20 biggest copper smelters in the world.

Copper Imports/Exports

However, this concentrated geography of supply creates risks for the the copper trade.

Inherent Risks

While Chile is one of the richest sources of copper in the world, the mining industry has exploited copper deposits to the point where the grade or quality of the copper ore is declining.

Codelco, the national copper miner of Chile and the world’s largest producer of copper, plans to spend $32B by 2027 to extend the life of its current mines and maintain its copper output.

In addition to declining grades, the geography of copper mining exposes the risk of supply disruption by natural forces.

The borders of Chile and Peru overlap the intersection of the Nazca and the South American Tectonic plates. Movement of these plates can produce powerful earthquakes.

According to one study, regions in Chile and Peru face a greater than 85% chance of a serious earthquake in the next 50 years, potentially disrupting copper mining operations. And according to Wood Mackenzie, a 15-day closure of copper mines in Chile and Peru could wipe out 1.5% of global annual production, or 300,000 tons of copper.

Falling grades and tectonic risk suggest that mining costs are likely to increase, making copper production more expensive and new discoveries more valuable.

Copper for the Future: New Discoveries

As economies grow and infrastructure needs increase, the demand for copper will grow. However, without new discoveries and sources of production, the world could face a shortage of the red metal.

According to data from S&P and the London Metals Exchange, the discovery of copper has not kept up with investment in copper exploration. If this trend persists, there will not be enough copper to replace current resources. On top of this, production from already producing copper mines face resource exhaustion and declining grades.

In order to maintain copper’s supply chain, the world needs new copper discoveries to ensure everyone has access to the materials and products that make modern life.

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