The reddish-gold metal has a range of industrial uses, and is often used in electronics due to its high electrical conductivity and its ability to be easily shaped into wiring. It is also a good conductor of heat, giving it additional properties prized by industry.
There is expected to be a growing demand for copper over the coming years along with many other metals and minerals due to its importance to the manufacturing of products that will be used in the electrification of the worlds energy system.
Codelco mines many of these Chilean reserves, including the El Teniente project (the worlds largest underground copper mine), and Chuquicamata (the second-deepest as well as one of the largest open pit mines in the world).
Its major mining interests include the Grasberg copper-gold deposit in Indonesia the worlds biggest gold mine and the Morenci mine in Arizona, which is one of the largest copper deposits in North America.
In total, the company operates seven open-pit copper mines in North America, as well as two molybdenum operations. It also has two copper mines in South America Cerro Verde in Peru and El Abra in Chile.
Glencores major copper mines include interests in the Antamina open-pit mine, located in the Peruvian Andes, as well as Chiles Collahuasi mine. In Australia, it operates the Ernest Henry, Mount Isa and CSA mines.
The company also has a significant footprint in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), where it mines copper alongside cobalt at the Katanaga and Mutanda mines. The DRC by far the worlds largest cobalt producing country, and Glencore has established itself as one of the top producers of this metal via these operations.
An integrated producer of copper and various minerals, Southern Copper operates mining, smelting and refining facilities in Mexico and Peru. Its major mining operations include Perus Toquepala and Cuajone mines and Mexicos Buena Vista del Cobre (aka Cananea) and La Caridad mines.
While construction and electrical grids have long been big markets for copper, today the rise in demand for electric vehicles, electric vehicle charging infrastructure and energy storage applications are considered some of the biggest drivers of copper consumption.
Given those factors, investors may want to keep an eye on the worlds top copper-producing companies. According to the latest stats from financial market data provider Refinitiv, the following top copper-producing companies produced the most copper in 2020.
The first top copper-producing company on the list is state-owned Codelco. As the worlds biggest copper producer, the company put out 1.76 million tonnes in 2020. Although there were concerns early in the year that operation curtailments due to the coronavirus pandemic would knock Codelco from its top spot, the Chilean company defied those expectations to meet its production guidance for the year.
In May 2021, Codelco announced the start of a US$1.4 billion project aimed at extending the life of its Salvador mine through 2068 by converting the underground mine to an open-pit operation. The project is a part of the companys 10 year, US$40 billion plan to upgrade its many aging mines.
Major diversified miner Glencore produced 1.26 million tonnes of copper in 2020. After suffering an 11 percent drop in copper production for the first half of the year versus the same period in 2019, the company cut its annual production guidance for the full year to 1.23 million tonnes.
Rather than COVID-19 disruptions, Glencore attributed its production declineto its Mutanda mine being placed on care and maintenance in 2019. Operations at Mutanda, the worlds biggest cobalt mine, are set to resume sometime in 2022. In addition to cobalt, the mine has five copper production lines.
In 2020, BHP produced 1.21 million tonnes of the red metal. The Australian mining giant managed to keep its copper production numbers high despite the years COVID-19 disruptions and strikes at Escondida, the worlds largest copper mine.
One of the companys biggest copper assets is the Grasberg mine in Indonesia, the 10th largest copper mine in the world. The company continues to make significant investments in Grasberg to increase both its copper and its gold production.
Canadas First Quantum Minerals produced more than 715,000 tonnes of copper in 2020. The company was able to increase its production guidance for the year despite temporary coronavirus shutdowns at its Cobre Panama mining operation.
Rio Tintos copper production in 2020 totaled 548,074 tonnes. The company is one of the largest diversified mining companies in the world behind BHP and like BHP, Rio Tinto was also negatively impacted by strikes at Chiles Escondida mine. Rio Tinto holds a 30 percent interest in the project.
Polands KGHM Polska Miedz has operations in Europe, North America and South America, and says that it holdsover 38 million tonnes of copper ore resources worldwide. In 2020, the company produced more than 543,000 tonnes of copper.
KGHM recently announced its cutting a few small assets from its portfolio, including the Carlotta copper mine in the US. In the first quarter of 2021, the company achieved its best operating and financial results in nearly a decade.
Chilean copper miner Antofagasta operates four mines in Chile and produced more than 503,000 tonnes of copper in 2020. The companys output was impacted by having to place its flagship Los Pelambres mine on care and maintenance, as well as by lower grades at its Antucoya operations.
Antofagasta recently pledged to cut its carbon emissions by 30 percent by 2025 by using renewable energy sources. By the end of 2020, the company reported that it was already powering 19 percent of its operations with renewable sources.
Moving forward, by 2030 Norilsk Nickel is looking to increase its copper production by 20 percent from its current level. The company is upgrading its production capacity at the Ruchey copper-nickel mine, replacing its obsolete Kola copper refinery with a state-of-the-art plant.
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Where is Aurubis in your list? They have 4 large copper refineries 2 in Germany Hamburg 383 000 tpa, and Lnen 200 000 tpa, Olen in Belgium 350 000 tpa and Pirdop in Bulgaria 232 000 tpa. Thats over a million tpa, quite an omission.
Copper is a naturally occurring metal that gives off a stunning reddish-orange metallic color when polished. Its chemical symbol is Cu, and atomic number is 29. Mining operations extract copper from the ground via open pit mines. Once the copper-containing earth is extracted, the extract is ground to fine ore and put through a froth flotation process. This process combines the ore with water and a collector chemical that makes copper hydrophobic (a condition which repels water). Air bubbles are introduced into the slurry mixture and the now hydrophobic copper rises to the top with the foam. The froth is removed and contains a copper concentration which can be exported or further refined for industrial uses.
The top producers of copper are found throughout the world. The number one producer is Chile, a South American country. Chile produces 5,750,000 tons of copper annually. The country attracted foreign private investments in the 90's when the government passed a mining law that compensation regulations for the case of mine nationalisation.
The second top producer is China, though the copper mining industry here is nowhere near the production capacity of Chile. Copper production in China reaches 1,760,000 tonnes per year. This country is the largest consumer of copper.
With its sights set on beating China in copper production, Peru came close to that goal. At number 3, this country produces around 1,380,000 tonnes per year. Production has increased over the last decade with China being the top importer of Peruvian copper.
Close to the production rates of Peru, the United States takes the fourth position in copper mining. This country extracts 1,360,000 tonnes of copper every year. Mines are located in several southwestern states including Arizona, Utah, New Mexico, Nevada, and further north in Montana. The demand for copper in the US comes from the construction industry.
The fifth largest copper producer in the world is the Democratic Republic of Congo at 1,030,000 tonnes annually. Though the DRC does not have the highest production rate, the second largest copper reserves in the world can be found within its borders. The slightly lower production here may be explained by a lack of appropriate technology.
Following the DRC is Australia. Production levels of 970,000 tonnes annually make Australia number 6. The majority of copper deposits are located in Southern Australia and also contain uranium and gold. The second large mining location is Mount Isa which is one of the biggest underground mines in the world.
In 7th place, Russia produces 742,000 tonnes of copper. Russia is running into a problem with depleting resources and no new reserve discoveries to take their place. One example is the top producer of copper, the Norilsk Nickel mine. This mine focuses on nickel but extracts copper during the froth flotation process. Since its nickel reserve is running out of the mineral, the company will extract more copper heavy ore in an attempt to maintain its nickel production. This act could possibly increase copper production for Russia, though not by much.
The remaining top copper producers are Zambia (708,000 tonnes), Canada (696,000 tonnes), and Mexico (515,000 tonnes). Many of the countries on this list rely heavily on mining and extract other metals and minerals.
Copper is useful in many applications, but the primary use is in electrical wiring. Theis is because copper makes an excellent electrical conduit. The roofing and plumbing industry also has a high demand for copper as well as industrial machinery. This metal has other uses; for instance, copper paint is used to prevent plant growth on boats and fungicides for agricultural use require copper content.
The copper industry is comprised of companies involved in the exploration, extraction, development, and production of copper, one of the most widely used metals. Copper demand is closely tied to economic cycles as it's used for a broad range of applications, including construction, electronics, industrial machinery, transportation, power generation, and transmission. The largest names in the sector include Freeport-McMoRan Inc. (FCX), Australia-based OZ Minerals Ltd. (OZL), and China-based Zijin Mining Group Co. Ltd. (2899.HK).
Copper stocks, represented by the Global X Copper Miners ETF (COPX), have outperformed the broader market by a wide margin. COPX has provided a total return of 132.7% over the past 12 months, nearly four times the Russell 1000's total return of 34.7%. These market performance figures and all statistics in the tables below are as of June 7, 2021.
Here are the top 3 copper stocks with the best value, the fastest earnings growth, and the most momentum. These are stocks of companies that mine for copper, rather than futures that track the copper commodity.
These are the copper stocks with the lowest 12-month trailingprice-to-earnings (P/E)ratio. Because profits can be returned to shareholders in the form of dividends and buybacks, a low P/E ratio shows youre paying less for each dollar of profit generated.
These are the topcopperstocks as ranked by agrowthmodel that scores companies based on a 50/50 weighting of their most recent quarterly YOY percentagerevenuegrowth and their most recent quarterly YOYearnings-per-share (EPS)growth. Both sales and earnings are critical factors in the success of a company. Therefore ranking companies by only one growth metric makes a ranking susceptible to the accounting anomalies of that quarter (such as changes in tax law or restructuring costs) that may make one or the other figure unrepresentative of the business in general. Companies with quarterly EPS or revenue growth of over 2,500% were excluded as outliers.
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Copper is one of the world's most versatile metals and the third most used behind iron ore and aluminum. It's an essential component in buildings and cars, part of the money supply, and a key material used in renewable energy. Consequently, it's in high demand. The global economy consumed 23.6 million tons of it in 2018, and that figure is expected to grow to 29.8 million tons by 2027, according to a forecast by Fitch Solutions.
Given that outlook, the world's biggest copper miners should be able to continue expanding their production in the coming years. That growth potential is why investors should get to know the copper industry. Here's a closer look at the 10 biggest copper stocks.
The world's largest copper company by production and reserves is Codelco, which is owned by the government of Chile. However, investors who are interested in the copper sector have plenty of other options. The following table contains the 10 largest publicly traded mining companies that produce copper, ranked by their market capitalization.
BHP Group is a diversified global resources company. It operates mines in Australia, Canada, the U.S., Chile, Peru, and Brazil focused on copper, iron ore, coal, nickel, zinc, and potash. The company also produces oil and gas from offshore locations near the U.S., Australia, and Trinidad and Tobago.
In 2018, BHP Group produced 1,753 kilotons of copper (about 3.9 billion pounds). Its biggest asset is the wholly owned Olympic Dam mine in Australia. It contains one of the world's largest deposits of copper, gold, and uranium as well as a significant quantity of silver. The rest of the company's copper production comes from its stakes in several South American mines. The largest is Escondida in Chile, which is one of the world's leading producers of copper.
While BHP is a top copper producer, its biggest moneymaker is iron ore. In 2018, that metal contributed 39% of the group's underlying EBITDA, followed by copper at 28%, coal at 19%, and oil and gas at 14%.
Copper, however, remains a big part of BHP's future. In 2017, the company approved the Spence Growth Option, which will increase the production and extend the life of its Spence mine in Chile when the project comes on line in 2021. Meanwhile, BHP has some even larger-scale copper expansion projects in development. These include a major one to increase production at Olympic Dam as well as the Resolution copper project in the U.S. to develop one of the world's largest untapped copper deposits. Because of that pipeline, BHP Group will likely remain a leader in the copper sector for years to come.
Rio Tinto is a diversified global mining company. It owns interests in mines that produce aluminum, copper, diamonds, gold, iron ore, uranium, and several industrial minerals. The company operates in 35 countries across six continents, though its largest operations are in Australia and North America.
In 2018, Rio Tinto produced 634 kilotons of copper. The company owns stakes in mines that produce the metal in the U.S., Chile, and Mongolia. The crown jewel of Rio Tinto's copper business is Oyu Tolgoi in Mongolia, which is one of the largest known copper and gold deposits in the world.
While Rio Tinto is a major copper producer, like BHP Group, it makes most of its money on iron ore. That metal contributed 62% of its underlying EBITDA in 2018, followed by aluminum at 17%, copper and diamonds at 15%, and energy and minerals at 12%.
The company, however, does have lots of upside to the growing copper market. It's still developing Oyu Tolgoi as well as the Kennecott mine in the U.S., which provides it with visible production growth through 2023. In addition, it's BHP's partner on Resolution Copper. Because of that portfolio of expansion opportunities, Rio Tinto appears poised to remain a major copper producer in the coming years.
Vale is a Brazil-focused mining company that also operates in Canada, Oman, China, and Mozambique. It's the world's largest iron ore and nickel producer. It also mines manganese ore, ferroalloys, coal, copper, the platinum metals group, gold, silver, and cobalt.
In 2018, Vale produced 395 kilotons of copper from mines in Brazil and Canada. In Brazil, the company operates the Sossego and Salobo mines where it benefits from using the infrastructure it built to transport iron ore. Salobo is one of the largest copper deposits ever discovered in Brazil. In the meantime, it also produces copper in Canada as part of its nickel operations in that country.
While Vale is a major copper producer, like many of its large peers, it also makes most of its money on iron ore. In 2018, that metal accounted for about 74% of its total revenue, followed by nickel at 13%, and copper at 6%.
Because of its focus on iron ore and nickel, Vale's copper output has been in a steady state of decline. It has fallen from 453 kilotons in 2016 to 395 kilotons in 2018, driven by the steady depletion of its existing mines and the sale of its stake in Zambia's Lubambe mine in 2017. Vale, however, did approve the Salobo 3 mine in 2018. This $1 billion expansion project will boost the mine's annual copper production capacity from 200 to 250 kilotons when it comes on line in 2021. Because of investments like that, Vale will continue to be a major supplier to the copper market.
Glencore is a globally diversified natural resource company. It started as a commodities trading company. However, it has evolved over the years to become both a major producer and marketer of metals and materials. The company operates mines that produce copper, cobalt, zinc, nickel, and ferroalloys as well as marketing aluminum and iron ore produced by third parties. It's also a large coal producer as well as a leading marketer of oil, refined products, and natural gas.
Glencore is one of the largest producers and marketers of copper in the world, making it a dominant force in the sector. In 2018, it produced 1,453 kilotons of copper at its mines in Africa, Australia, and South America. It also sources and recycles copper scrap in North America and Asia. In addition to that, the company marketed about 4,500 kilotons of copper in 2018 through its marketing business, which buys it from other miners and supplies it to customers in the automotive, electronics, and construction sectors.
Glencore expects its copper production to grow at a 3% annual pace through 2021 to around 1,500 kilotons. Driving that anticipated increase is its investment in Katanga Mining Limited, which operates a large-scale copper-cobalt mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The company also has projects to expand its Mopani mine in Zambia and Collahuasi mine in Chile. Add those expansion-related investments to the company's marketing expertise, and Glencore is well positioned to continue being a significant player in the copper sector.
Barrick Gold's copper operations consist of a wholly owned copper mine in Zambia and 50% interests in copper mines in Chile and Saudi Arabia. Those three mines combined to produce 383 million pounds of copper in 2018, led by the Lumwana mine in Zambia at 224 million pounds.
Barrick Gold's primary focus is on building the world's most valuable gold mining company. It aims to do that by increasing output at its lowest-cost mines and selling off its noncore ones. However, copper remains an important metal for the company. As a result, Barrick and its 50% joint venture partner approved an expansion project at their Zaldivar copper mine in Chile. Barrick also owns a mining concession for the Pascua Lama mineral deposit, which stretches across parts of Chile and Argentina. It's one of the largest untapped silver and gold deposits in the world. It also contains enough copper that Barrick believes it could produce as much as 5,000 tons of it per year.
Newmont Goldcorp is one of the world's leading gold mining companies, created by the 2019 merger of Newmont and Goldcorp. It operates a large portfolio of mines across nine countries that primarily produce gold. In addition, the company mines zinc, lead, silver, and copper.
Newmont Goldcorp operates two mines that produce copper. The largest is the Boddington mine in Australia, which produced 77 million pounds in 2018. Meanwhile, the Phoenix mine in the U.S., which it owns as part of a joint venture with Barrick Gold, produced 32 million pounds of copper in 2018.
Gold is the company's primary moneymaker at more than 90% of the total. It's also its main growth driver. In 2019, for example, Newmont Goldcorp expects its copper production to decline to about 100 million pounds, including 60 million at Boddington and 40 million at Phoenix. However, it does have better longer-term copper growth projects. The company could invest up to $2 billion from 2020 to 2025 into the Yanacocha mine in Peru. That project would supply it with an incremental 500,000 gold equivalent ounces of annual production, though 40% of the revenue would be from selling copper, while gold would account for 50% and silver the other 10%. The company also owns 50% interests in the Nueva Union and Norte Abierto deposits, which are large-scale gold and copper discoveries. Because of that, Newmont Goldcorp has plenty of potential copper upside in the coming years.
Anglo American is a diversified global mining company based in the U.K. It produces diamonds, copper, the platinum metals group, coal, iron ore, nickel, and manganese from mines in Africa, North and South America, and Australia.
The company's copper business consists of interests in two mines in Chile: a 50.1% stake in the Los Bronces mine and a 44% share of the Collahuasi mine. Those mines produce copper as well as by-products like molybdenum and silver that it sells to offset its copper production costs. In 2018, Anglo American's copper output totaled 668 kilotons, which was 15% higher than 2017's total.
Coal was Anglo American's biggest moneymaker in 2018 at 35% of its EBITDA. Copper followed that at 20% while iron ore was at 16% and its investment in De Beers, the world's leading diamond company, contributed 14% of the total.
Anglo American anticipates that its copper output will decline to a range of 630-660 kilotons in 2019. However, production should rise in the future because it approved the development of the Quellaveco mine in Peru in 2018. It's one of the world's largest copper deposits. The $5.3 billion project -- 60% owned by Anglo American -- will produce 300 kilotons of copper per year when it comes online in 2022. Furthermore, the company and its partner Glencore are on track to approve a $1 billion expansion of the Collahuasi mine by 2021, which would add an incremental 80 kilotons of copper output by 2024. Those upcoming expansion projects give Anglo American significant future upside to the growth of the copper market.
Southern Copper's corporate structure is one that investors should note. It's a majority-owned subsidiary of Grupo Mexico, which holds shares in several entities focused on the metals, mining, and railway sectors. As of September 2019, Grupo Mexico owned 88.9% of Southern Copper's total outstanding shares, which means that public stock market investors hold a slim minority.
The company was the world's fifth-largest copper producer at 884 kilotons in 2018. It's also one of the lowest-cost copper companies in the world. In 2018, its cash operating cost was $1.54 per pound, which fell to $0.87 per pound after including by-product credits. Overall, copper supplied 80% of Southern Copper's revenue in 2018, followed by molybdenum at 7%, zinc at 5%, silver at 4% and all others contributing another 4%.
Southern Copper has steadily grown its copper output over the years by investing in expanding its mines as well as developing new ones. The company expects its production to reach 987 kilotons in 2019, which is more than double 2010's level. It has several more expansion projects underway, which should boost its cooper output in the coming years. The largest is the $1.4 billion Tia Maria project, which will add 120 kilotons of annual copper output when it comes on line in 2022. Meanwhile, with the second-largest known copper reserves in the world, the company estimates that it can increase its annual production up to 1,800 kilotons by 2026. That has it set to benefit from the anticipated growth of copper demand.
Freeport-McMoRan is one of the world's largest publicly traded companies focused primarily on producing copper. The U.S.-based company also produces gold and molybdenum from mines in North and South America as well as Indonesia.
Freeport-McMoRan produced 3.8 billion pounds of copper in 2018. North America led the way at 1.4 billion pounds, followed by 1.3 billion pounds in South America, and 1.1 billion pounds from Indonesia.
As one of the world's largest primary copper producers, changes in its price can have a significant impact on Freeport-McMoRan's cash flow. In 2019, the company estimated that a $0.10-per-pound change in the price of copper from its $2.75-per-pound assumption would impact its operating cash flow by $315 million. That's significant for a company that expected to generate $1.8 billion in cash for the year. Because of that high leverage to the price of copper, its stock price will likely make big moves on even a small change in copper pricing.
Freeport-McMoRan expects its copper output to fall to 3.3 million pounds in 2019 following the government-mandated sale of part of its stake in its Indonesian operations to a local company. However, it expects copper production to start growing again in 2020 and reach 4.2 million pounds by 2021. Driving that growth is the transition to underground mining in Indonesia and an expansion project at its Lone Star mine. This visible growth suggests that Freeport-McMoRan is well poised to benefit from the expected increase in copper consumption in the coming years.
Teck Resources is Canada's largest diversified mining company. It's the top North American producer of steelmaking coal as well as a large-scale copper and zinc producer. It also produces oil from the oil sands of Western Canada, lead, gold, silver, and specialty metals such as germanium, indium, and cadmium.
Teck Resources holds stakes in four copper mines in Canada and South America. In 2018, these locations produced 294 kilotons of copper and contributed 22% of the company's gross profit. Steelmaking coal, meanwhile, was Teck's biggest moneymaker at 62% of the total while zinc contributed 18%.
While the company expects copper to remain a meaningful contributor in the coming years, it doesn't expect its copper output to increase all that much in the future. In 2019, Teck expects its copper production to be between 290-310 kilotons and be in the range of 285-305 kilotons from 2020 through 2023. That relatively steady anticipated output comes even though the company started work on the Quebrada Blanca 2 project in 2018, which should begin operations in the second half of 2021. Instead of growing output, that expansion project will help offset mine depletion as the company digs through its reserves at existing locations. While this project does position Teck to benefit from higher copper projects, it doesn't have the production growth profile of some of its rivals.
Most of the world's largest publicly traded mining companies produce copper. For some, copper is crucial; for others, it's an afterthought. Thus, investors who are interested in the copper sector need to dig deeply into a mining company's operations and outlook. That will enable them to determine the ones best positioned to benefit from the expected growth of the copper sector.
The world's 20 largest copper mines produce nearly 9 million metric tons of the precious metal a year, about 40% of the world's total copper mine capacity. Chile and Peru, alone, account for more than half of the copper mines on this list. The U.S. makes the cut, as well, with two mines among the top 20.
Copper is expensive to mine and refine.The high costs of financing a major mine are reflected in the fact that many of the mines with the most production capacity are either state-owned or owned by major mining corporations like BHP and Freeport-McMoRan.
The list below is compiled from theInternational Copper Study Group'sWorld Copper Factbook 2019. Beside each mine's name is the country that it is located in and its annual production capacity in metric kilotons. Ametric ton is equal to about 2,200 pounds. A metric kiloton (kt) is 1,000 metric tons.
The Escondida copper mine in Chile's Atacama desert is jointly owned by BHP (57.5%), Rio Tinto Corp. (30%), and Japan Escondida (12.5%). In 2012, the massive Escondida mine accounted for 5% of total global copper mine production. Gold and silver are extracted as by-products from the ore.
Chile's second-largest copper mine, Collahuasi, is owned by a consortium of Anglo American (44%), Glencore (44%), Mitsui (8.4%), and JX Holdings (3.6%). Collahuasimine produces copper concentrate and cathodes as well asmolybdenum concentrate.
The Morenci mine in Arizona is the largest copper mine in North America. Operated by Freeport-McMoRan, the mine is jointly owned by the company (72%) and affiliates of the Sumitomo Corporation (28%). Morenci operations began in 1872, underground mining began in 1881, and open-pit mining began in 1937.
Cerro Verde copper mine, located 20 miles southwest of Arequipa in Peru, has been operational in its current form since 1976. Freeport-McMoRan, which holds a 54% interest, is the mine's operator. Other stakeholders include SMM Cerro Verde Netherlands, a subsidiary of Sumitomo Metal (21%), Compaia de Minas Buenaventura (19.58%), and public shareholders through the Lima Stock Exchange (5.86%).
The Antamina mine is located 170 miles north of Lima. Silver and zinc are also separated from the ore produced at Antamina. The mine is jointly owned by BHP (33.75%), Glencore (33.75%), Teck (22.5%), and Mitsubishi Corp. (10%).
The world's largest underground mine, El Teniente, is located in the Andes of central Chile. Owned and operated byChilean state copper minerCodelco, El Teniente has been mined since the 19th century.
Chile's state-owned Codelco owns and operates the Codelco Norte (or Chuquicamata)copper mine in northern Chile. One of the world's largest open-pit mines, Chuquicamata has been in operation since 1910, producing refined copper and molybdenum.
The largest copper mine in Africa, Kansanshi is owned and operated by Kansanshi Mining PLC, which is 80%owned by a First Quantum subsidiary. The remaining 20% is owned by a subsidiary of ZCCM. The mine is located approximately 6miles north of the town of Solwezi and 112milesto the northwest of the Copperbelt town of Chingola.
The Grasberg mine, located in the highlands of Indonesia's Papua province, boasts the world's largest gold reserve and second-largest copper reserve. The mine is operated by PT Freeport Indonesia Co., and the mine is a joint venture between regional and national government authorities in Indonesia (51.2%) and Freeport-McMoRan (48.8%).
Kamoto is an underground mine that was first opened by the state-owned company Gcamines in 1969. The mine was restarted under Katanga Mining LTD control in 2007. While Katanga owns the majority of the operation (75%), 86.33% of Katanga itself is owned by Glencore. The remaining 25% of the Kamoto mine is still owned by Gcamines.
TheBingham Canyon Mine, more commonly known asKennecott Copper Mine, is an open-pit mine southwest ofSalt Lake City. Kennecott is the sole owner and operator of this mine. The mine was started back in 1903. Operations continue through all hours of day and night, 365 days a year, but tourists can visit the mine to learn more and see the canyon in person.
Construction of the Sentinel copper mine began in 2012, and by 2016, commercial production was underway. The mine is 100% owned by First Quantum Minerals Ltd. The Candian company entered into Zambian mining in 2010, with the purchase of Kiwara PLC.
Olympic Dam, which is 100%owned by BHP,is a copper, gold, silver, and uranium mine. The dam operates both on the surface and underground, including more than 275 miles of underground roads and tunnels.
The largest copper mining countries in the world have an increasingly important role producing a metal that underpins major global industries and will be a crucial ingredient of the transition to a low-carbon energy system.
Due to its high thermal and electrical conductivity, copper is used widely in construction, engineering and electronics manufacturing, while its malleable properties make it particularly suited to use in wiring.
As the global energy system integrates a greater share of renewable technologies and electrified processes, demand for the reddish-gold metal is expected to grow rapidly to build the batteries, motors, power cables and many other applications that will characterise modern energy infrastructure.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) has suggested world copper demand could double over the next 20 years as the pace of electrification grows, with clean energy applications potentially accounting for 45% of overall demand.
There are currently around 250 copper mines in operation in nearly 40 countries, with global production estimated by the US Geological Survey at 20 million tonnes in 2020 30% higher than it was just 10 years ago.
The countrys Cerro Verde and Antamina mines are among the worlds largest copper operations, while the Quellaveco mine being developed by Anglo American and Mitsubishi is expected to begin production in 2022, adding another substantial resource to Peruvian copper activities.
The country is perhaps better known as being the runaway leader among the worlds top cobalt producing countries and also home to by far the worlds largest cobalt reserves but copper mining often takes place alongside its cobalt operations and is a significant industry for the African nation.
The Kamoa-Kakula Copper Project, a joint venture led by Ivanhoe Mines and Zijin Mining, is a major copper mining asset currently under development in the DRC expected to add significant new potential to the countrys industry.
A major joint venture between BHP and Rio Tinto, known as Resolution Copper, is currently planned for Arizona that could become one of the countrys largest copper mines but there is currently uncertainty over the projects future due to a controversial land-swap deal opposed by Native American groups.
(Kitco News) - The following is the list of the top 10 copper producers worldwide ranked based on attributable tonnes of copper mined in 2020 calendar year. The focus on attributable tonnes was made in order to avoid double counting.
With 1,727 ktonnes of copper mined in 2020 (including minority interests in El Abra and Anglo American Sur), Chilean mining behemoth Codelco is the largest copper producer worldwide. The companys attributable copper output increased 1% compared to 2019 (1,706 ktonnes). Despite the pandemic, Codelco reached both production and cost targets in 2020.
Glencore is second with own sourced copper production of 1,258 ktonnes, which was 8% lower than in 2019, mainly reflecting Mutanda being on care and maintenance in 2020 (partly offset by Katangas successful ramp-up), with Covid-19 related suspensions being a much smaller factor.
BHP Billiton sits fourth with 1,107 ktonnes of attributable copper output in 2020 (calendar year ended 31 December 2020). BHPs copper production decreased primarily due to its Chilean assets operated with a reduction in their operational workforces as a result of the comprehensive plan the company has implemented for COVID-19.
In 2020, Poland-based KGHM Polska Miedz recorded an increase in copper production of 1% at 709 ktonnes compared to the corresponding period of 2019, due to the higher availability of the main production line in KGHM Polska Miedz S.A. and the processing of a higher volume of ore, of higher copper content and with higher recovery, by Sierra Gorda.
Rio Tintos mined copper of 528 ktonnes in 2020 was 8% lower than 2019, primarily due to lower grades at Kennecott, as a result of planned pit sequencing, and lower grades and lower material moved at Escondida.
Antofagastas attributable mine copper production for the full-year 2020 was 468 ktonnes, in line with guidance and 5% lower than the record production in 2019 mainly due to expected lower grades at Centinela Concentrates.
Anglo American is tenth with attributable copper production of 463 ktonnes, a 4% increase over 2019 largely due to secured access to industrial water at Los Bronces, partially offset by planned plant maintenance at Collahuasi.
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