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the world's 20 largest copper mines

the world's 20 largest copper mines

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.

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the top 50 biggest mining companies in the world

the top 50 biggest mining companies in the world

The MINING.COM Top 50* most valuable mining companies added a combined $50 billion in market capitalization over the three months to end March, a sharp slowdown compared to previous quarters, as the commodities rally cools and gold suffers its worst first quarter in decades.

Measured from the height of the pandemic in March-April last year the index has now recovered by an astonishing $636 billion thanks to a boom in spending on green infrastructure not only in China, but across Europe and the US.

An indication of how widespread the rally in mining stocks was the past year is the fact that a year ago a valuation of just over $4 billion secured a company a spot in the Top 50 while today, number 50 on the list, Tianqi Lithium, is valued at more than $8.5 billion. Companies around the $4 billion market cap mark now sit in the mid-60s.

Iron ore prices back above $170 a tonne lit a fire under the top producers, boosting BHP, Rio Tinto, and Fortescues value this year and (with help of roaring platinum group metals) lifted Anglo American to position number four, the highest rank in years for the company with roots stretching back more than a century to Johannesburg.

One of the biggest mining IPOs since Glencore in 2011 came on the back of the steelmaking raw materials performance with Brazils CSN Minerao debuting at 47 with a market value of over $9 billion as at 31 March. The mining unit of steel giant Companhia Siderrgica Nacional currently produces about 33 million tonnes of ore per year, but has ambitious plans to triple that over the next decade.

The combined value of gold, silver and streaming companies in the ranking now make up 16% of the index, down from 26% when gold prices were peaking in the third quarter of last year. The sector has lost over $50 billion in value since its peak, led by Barrick Gold, which bled more than $14 billion since end-September 2020.

Thats in stark contrast to platinum group metal producers which have jumped in the ranking Impala is up 27 spots after a 360% jump and Anglo American Platinum has added 250% in value in US terms and now sits just outside the top 10. The Johannesburg-listed counters not only benefited from soaring PGM prices, but also a strengthening rand.

Freeport McMoRan is up nearly 400% from its covid-lows last March, joined by other base metal miners in the top performers list. KGHM briefly dropped out of the Top 50 at the end of the first quarter but is now back at no 42 and Vedanta returns to the ranking at 34 from 53 a year ago.

Another indication of how broad-based the rally from pandemic lows a year ago is that among the worst performers only two companies Shandong Gold and Coal India actually showed a decline in value in US dollar terms over the past year.

As with any ranking, criteria for inclusion are contentious issues. We decided to exclude unlisted and state-owned enterprises at the outset due to a lack of information. That, of course, excludes giants like Chiles Codelco, Uzbekistans Navoi Mining, which owns the worlds largest gold mine, Eurochem, a major potash firm, Singapore-based trader Trafigura, and a number of entities in China and developing countries around the world.

For instance, should smelter companies or commodity traders that own mostly minority stakes in mining assets be included, especially if these investments have no operational component or warrant a seat on the board?

Levels of operational or strategic involvement and size of shareholding was another central consideration. Do streaming and royalty companies that receive metals from mining operations without shareholding qualify or are they just specialized financing vehicles? We included Franco Nevada, Royal Gold and Wheaton Precious Metals.

Vertically integrated concerns like Alcoa and energy companies such as Shenhua Energy where power, ports and railways make up a large portion of revenues pose a problem as do diversified companies such as Anglo American with separately listed majority-owned subsidiaries. Weve included Angloplat in the ranking as well as Kumba Iron Ore.

Many steelmakers own and often operate iron ore and other metal mines, but in the interest of balance and diversity we excluded the steel industry, and with that many companies that have substantial mining assets including giants like ArcelorMittal, Magnitogorsk, Ternium, Baosteel and many others.

Head office refers to operational headquarters wherever applicable, for example BHP and Rio Tinto are shown as Melbourne, Australia but Antofagasta is the exception that proves the rule. We consider the companys HQ to be in London, where it has been listed since the late 1800s.

Interesting, is it not that the top 50 mining stocks capitalisation only amounts to 1/4 of the $USD created from thin air in one year.(or for that matter, that none of the men toiling to dig it from the bowels of the art demand to be paid in specie, as was the norm, for example as recently as during the excavation of the Panama Canal)

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