INDUSTRY: Golden Copper

Copper was more costly in the U.S. last week than at any time since Anaconda. Kennecott and Phelps Dodge started grand-scale copper mining in the west where the Flathead, Ute and Apache once roamed. The Big Three U.S. copper companies boosted prices to 46¢ a lb., an increase of 30¢ since 1950. On the London market, which has been successfully snagging copper coveted by U.S. industry, the price shot up to 52.5¢ a lb.

Worldwide copper strikes last year put a serious crimp in production. Meanwhile, annual world consumption has risen to more than 2 Ibs....