``Copper prices have tripled over the last two years. The City expects prices to head towards $12,000 per tonne by 2012, owing to spiralling demand and lack of new investment in mines. The metal closed on Wednesday at $9,945.25 a tonne. Australia's huge Cyclone Yasi forced a copper refinery and coal mines to shut and paralysed sugar and coal exports as it began pounding the northeast coast on Wednesday, threatening to further inflate world sugar, copper and coal prices. ''

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