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Global Copper Market Trends

Copper is the most used industrial metal after iron and aluminium, with electrical applications accounting for approximately three quarters of total copper use.

Mining Technology keeps track of the global copper market by observing copper price trends and analysing country-wise copper production, consumption and export and import data. We also closely watch the performance of copper mining companies and major copper mines around the world.

The global copper production is forecast to reach 25 million tonnes (Mt) in 2025, according to GlobalData.

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GlobalData forecasts data for 15 commodities of 60 leading mining countries, with 70 reports per year covering supply & demand, key projects, activities of major mining companies and fiscal regimes.

Copper Price Trend: Trailing 12 Months

Mining Technology displays the global copper price trend over the last 12 months.

In March, the average copper price rose by 1.7% to US$10,238/t.

As Russia only a moderate supplier of copper, accounting for approximately 5% of global production, the copper price has been only marginally impacted by the Russia Ukraine war compared with other metals. The copper price peaked at US$10,730 on 7 March and ended the month on US$10,337/t.

In the medium term the price of copper is expected to rise marginally compared to 2021, supported by global decarbonization efforts, such as growing renewable power and EV production, but balanced by improved supply, particularly in South America.

Top Copper Producing Companies by Production

Mining Technology has identified the world’s top copper producing companies by comparing the annual output of hundreds of copper mining companies operating in different parts of the globe.

Corporacion Nacional del Cobre de Chile was the world’s biggest copper miner in 2020, followed by Freeport-McMoRan and Glencore.

The world’s ten biggest copper producing companies together accounted for 48% of the global total copper output in 2020.

Current Rank Rank 2019 Company Name Headquarters
1 1 Corporacion Nacional del Cobre de Chile Chile
2 2 Freeport-McMoRan Inc United States
3 3 Glencore plc Switzerland
4 4 BHP Australia
5 5 Grupo Mexico SAB de CV Mexico
6 7 First Quantum Minerals Ltd Canada
7 6 Antofagasta Plc United Kingdom
8 8 Anglo American plc United Kingdom
9 9 Rio Tinto United Kingdom
10 10 MMC Norilsk Nickel Russia

Source: GlobalData

Expert Comments and Analysis

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Largest Copper Producing Countries

Mining Technology ranks the leading copper producing countries from our comprehensive database covering major copper mining countries in the world.

The world’s biggest copper mining countries in 2020 included Chile, Peru and China.

The top ten copper producing countries together accounted for 79% of the global copper output in 2020.


Biggest Copper Mines in the World

Mining Technology keeps a close watch on the production of major copper mining projects to identify the world’s biggest copper mines.

With an output of 1.12Mtpa, Escondida Mine in Chile ranked as the world’s biggest copper mine in 2020.

The world’s ten biggest copper mining operations together accounted for 27% of the global copper production in 2020.

Mine Name Country State Owner Mine Type & Method Production 2020 (Thousand tonnes)
Escondida Mine Chile Antofagasta BHP(57.5%), Rio Tinto(30%), Undisclosed(9.5%), ENEOS Holdings Inc(3%) Surface & Open Cut 1125.9
Dolinny Mine Kazakhstan East Kazakhstan Glencore Plc(69.7%), Undisclosed(30.3%) Underground & Sub Level Stoping 630.01
Collahuasi Mine Chile Tarapaca Anglo American Plc(44%), Glencore Plc(44%), Undisclosed(8.4%), ENEOS Holdings Inc(3.6%) Surface & Open Cut 629.1
Grasberg Block Cave Mine Indonesia Papua PT Inalum(51.2%), Freeport-McMoRan Inc(48.8%) Underground & Block Caving 618.3
Deep Mill Level Zone Mine Indonesia Papua PT Inalum(51.2%), Freeport-McMoRan Inc(48.8%) Underground & Block Caving 527.88
Morenci Mine United States Arizona Freeport-McMoRan Inc(72%), Sumitomo Metal Mining Co Ltd(25%), Sumitomo Corp(3%) Surface & Open Pit 445.4
El Teniente Mine Chile Cachapoal Corporacion Nacional del Cobre de Chile(100%) Underground & Block Caving 443.22
Buenavista del Cobre Mine Mexico Sonora Grupo Mexico SAB de CV(88.9%), Undisclosed(11.1%) Surface & Open Pit 432.2
Chuquicamata Mine Chile Antofagasta Corporacion Nacional del Cobre de Chile(100%) Underground & To be confirmed 400.72
Cerro Verde Mine Peru Arequipa Freeport-McMoRan Inc(53.56%), Compania De Minas Buenaventura SAA(19.58%), Sumitomo Metal Mining Co Ltd(16.8%), Undisclosed(5.86%), Sumitomo Corp(4.2%) Surface & Open Pit 371.94

Source: GlobalData

Major Upcoming Copper Mines

Mining Technology lists the major upcoming copper mines in the world by comparing annual production capacities of upcoming copper mining projects.

Oyu Tolgoi Underground Project in Mongolia is the biggest upcoming copper mine in the world, with an annual production capacity of 0.56Mt.

La Granja Project in Peru and Quetena Project in Chile are the next major upcoming copper mines with a capacity of 0.5Mt and 0.47Mt, respectively.

Mine Name Country State Owner Mine Type & Method Annual Production Capacity (Thousand tonnes)
Oyu Tolgoi Underground Project Mongolia Omnogovi Government of Mongolia(34%), Rio Tinto(33.52%), Undisclosed(32.48%) Underground & Block Caving 560
La Granja Project Peru Cajamarca Rio Tinto(100%) Surface & Open Pit 500
Quetena Project Chile Antofagasta Corporacion Nacional del Cobre de Chile(100%) Surface and Underground & Open Pit 478.99
Cerattepe Mine Turkey Artvin Cengiz Holding AS(100%) Underground & To be confirmed 453.59
Andes Norte Project Chile Cachapoal Corporacion Nacional del Cobre de Chile(100%) Underground & Block Caving 397
Aynak Project Afghanistan Logar Metallurgical Corporation of China Ltd(75%), Jiangxi Copper Co Ltd(25%) Surface and Underground & Open Pit/Block Caving 394
Tampakan Project Philippines South Cotabato Alsons Prime Investments Corporation(100%) Surface and Underground & Open Pit/Block Caving 375
Radomiro Tomic Sulphides Phase II Project Chile Antofagasta Corporacion Nacional del Cobre de Chile(100%) Surface & Open Pit 334
Tsagaan Suvarga Project Mongolia Dornogovi Mongolyn Alt (MAK) LLC(100%) Surface & Open Pit 316
Cleveland Project (Elementos Limited) Australia Tasmania Elementos Ltd(100%) Surface and Underground & Open Pit/Sub Level Stoping 300
Frieda River Project Papua New Guinea West Sepik (Sandaun) Guangdong Rising Assets Management Co Ltd(100%) Surface & Open Pit 290
Quebrada Blanca Phase 2 Project Chile Tarapaca Teck Resources Ltd(60%), Sumitomo Metal Mining Co Ltd(25%), Empresa Nacional de Mineria(10%), Sumitomo Corp(5%) Surface & Open Pit 290
Taca Taca Project Argentina Salta First Quantum Minerals Ltd(100%) Surface & Open Pit 275
El Pachon Project Argentina San Juan Glencore Plc(100%) Surface & Open Pit 270
Kucing Liar Project Indonesia Papua Freeport-McMoRan Inc(90.64%), Government of Indonesia(9.36%) Underground & Block Caving 261.64
Baimskaya Gold and Copper Project Russia Chukotka Autonomous Okrug KAZ Minerals PLC(100%) Surface & Open Pit 250
Quebrada Honda I and II Mine Chile Atacama Barrow Mining SpA(100%) Surface & Open Pit 233.68
Taldybulak Project Kyrgyzstan Talas Socagest SA(100%) Surface and Underground & Open Pit 223
Alpala Copper-Gold Project Ecuador Imbabura SolGold plc(85%), Cornerstone Capital Resources Inc(15%) Surface and Underground & Open Cut/Block Caving 207
Rio Blanco Copper Mine Peru Piura Zijin Mining Group Co Ltd(45%), Tongling Nonferrous Metals Group Co Ltd(35%), Xiamen C&D Corporation Ltd(20%) Surface & Open Pit 200
MARA Project Argentina Catamarca Yamana Gold Inc(56.25%), Glencore Plc(25%), Newmont Corp(18.75%) Surface & Open Pit 199.58
Reko Diq Mining Project Pakistan Balochistan Antofagasta Plc(37.5%), Barrick Gold Corp(37.5%), Government of Balochistan(25%) Surface & Open Pit 190.5
Los Azules Project (McEwen Mining Inc.) Argentina San Juan McEwen Mining Inc(100%) Surface & Open Pit 188
Los Helados Project Chile Atacama Josemaria Resources Inc(62.2%), ENEOS Holdings Inc(25.63%), Mitsui Mining & Smelting Co Ltd(12.17%) Underground & Block Caving 185
Galore Creek Project Canada British Columbia Newmont Corp(50%), Teck Resources Ltd(50%) Surface & Open Pit 181.44
Quellaveco Project Peru Moquegua Anglo American Plc(60%), Mitsubishi Corp(40%) Surface & Open Pit 180
El Arco Mine Mexico Baja California Grupo Mexico SAB de CV(88.9%), Undisclosed(11.099%) Surface & Open Pit 172.3
Josemaria Project Argentina San Juan Lundin Group(100%) Surface & Open Pit 166
Qulong Mine China Tibet Zijin Mining Group Co Ltd(100%), Zijin Mining Group Co Ltd(50.1%), Tibet Julong Copper Industry Co Ltd(49.9%) Surface & Open Pit 165
Mesaba Project United States Minnesota Teck Resources Ltd(100%) Surface & Open Pit 163.75

Source: GlobalData

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