Copper, the extremely conductive crimson steel very important to the manufacturing of merchandise important to the electrification of the world’s vitality methods can be utilized in heating, cooling, electronics, energy technology and transmission, automotive functions and has antimicrobial talents.

Demand from the inexperienced vitality transition has sparked a rally on copper markets. The world’s prime 10 largest copper mines when it comes to 2020 manufacturing compiled by MINING.COM and sister firm MiningIntelligence will play a serious half in setting costs for the following decade.

Click here for an excel download of the highest 10 largest copper producers from the MiningIntelligence database.

Chile’s Escondida stays by far the highest copper producer on this planet, surpassing the one-million-tonne mark in every of the final two years. It’s a standard open-pit operation processing sulphide and oxide ores.

Situated within the arid northern Atacama Desert at 3,050 metres above sea stage, Escondida got here on-stream in late 1990, and its capability has since been elevated by phased expansions through the years.

The mine advanced is a three way partnership between BHP (57.5%), Rio Tinto (30%), a Japanese consortium (10%) and the Worldwide Finance Company (2.5%).

Supervisors at Escondida evaluate proposal, extend talks
Escondida, the world’s prime copper mine. (Picture courtesy of Rio Tinto)

In second place is the Collahuasi copper mine, additionally in northern Chile, about 180 km southeast of the port of Iquique, at an altitude of 4,400 metres.

Mendacity in an space of historic copper mining, the deposit was outlined in 1991 after exploration by Shell, Chevron and Falconbridge within the late 1980s. The mine was commissioned in April 1999 at a value of US$1.76 billion.

In response to the newest lifetime of mine plan, the Collahuasi mine has as much as 51 years of life from 2020 to 2070. It’s collectively owned by Anglo American (44%), Glencore (44%), and Japan Collahuasi Sources (12%).

FCAB ore prepare crossing the Ascotán salt flat on the Collahuasi mine. Credit score: Wikipedia

Taking third place is Morenci — the most important copper producer in North America — positioned in Greenlee County, Arizona. Morenci is an open-pit copper mining advanced that has been in steady operation since 1939, and beforehand was mined via underground workings.

The mine is majority-owned by Freeport-McMoRan (72%), with Japan’s Sumitomo Corp. (15%) and Sumitomo Metallic Mining (13%) holding the remaining curiosity.

Morenci Mine. Credit score: Wikimedia Commons

Trailing simply behind Morenci is the world’s largest underground copper mine El Teniente, positioned 80 km south of Santiago within the Andes mountain vary in Chile.

The copper deposit was found within the early 19th century, and has been in operation since 1905. Owned and operated by Chile’s nationwide copper firm Codelco, the mine facility is present process an intensive US$3.4 billion expansion project that will lengthen its manufacturing life by 50 years.

Following intently in fifth place is the Buenavista open-pit copper mine in Sonora, Mexico, wholly owned by Grupo Mexico subsidiary Southern Copper Corp. Producing since 1899, it’s the oldest working copper mine in North America, and can be one of many largest porphyry copper deposits on this planet.

Buenavista was mined completely via underground strategies till the Anaconda Firm began open-pit operations within the early 1940s.

Rudna mine. Credit score: KGHM

Rounding out the highest 10 listing are KGHM’s group of copper mines in Poland, Codelco’s giant Chuquicamata open-pit mine in Chile, the Cerro Verde and Antamina mines in Peru, and Freeport’s iconic Grasberg mine in Indonesia.

Notice: Grasberg consists of the Massive Gossan, Deep Ore Zone and Deep Mill Stage Zone underground mines and the Grasberg block cave. Copper grades are calculated based mostly on a weighted common of those 4 mines.

Simply lacking out on the highest 10 rankings are the Antofagasta-managed Los Pelambres deposit close to Santiago, Chile, and the Polar Division mine advanced held by Russia’s Norilsk Nickel.

Click here for an excel download of the highest 10 largest copper producers from the MiningIntelligence database.


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