World copper mine production rose by 21% in the past ten years, according to latest findings from the International Copper Study Group (ICSG).

The study, which looked at production between 1999 and 2008, found production increased by 21% to 15.5 million metric tonnes in 2008 from 12.8 million in 1999.

ICSG also found that the use of refined copper increased by 26% of the ten-year period outstripping production, which only increased by 25%.

Africa has shown the maximum rise in production with an 89% increase, followed by Latin America with a 35% rise and Asia with a 29% increase.

The study also found that between 2006 and 2008 the rate of increase in production slowed to only 1.2% because of labour unrest and technical problems.

China’s consumption increased by more than 245% to reach 3.7 million tonnes during the ten year period, followed by Africa with a 213% increase, the study said.