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0 comments PRESIDENT

Following the sharp rise in the price of copper earlier this year, a race amongst miners to supply the metal crutial to the green energy transition is fierce.

World copper supply is dominated by mining giants. The top 10 biggest companies make up for more than half of the world's output.

In an unprecedented year marked by disruptions due to the coronavirus pandemic, copper mining depended on how each company meet the operational challenges. The Chilean Codelco, by far the biggest copper mining company, avoided serious impact to its output by applying a four-phase plan to maintain production rolling.

Despite the impact on mining processes, international copper production still exceeded the 20-million-tonne mark in 2020. According to data provided by MiningIntelligence, there is a list of the world's TOP copper producers based on 2020 production.

  Company Headquarters  Country 2020 Attributable Production * (Kt) % Change from 2019
1 CODELCO Santiago Chile 1,727.50 1.25
2 BHP Group Melbourne Australia 1,188.50 -5.46
2 Glencore Baar Switzerland 1,182.30 5.15
4 Freeport-McMoRan Phoenix USA 1,070.50 -0.90
5 Southern Copper Mexico City Mexico 1,001.80 0.79
6 First Quantum Minerals Vancouver Canada 719.20 11.31
7 KGHM Polska Miedz Lubin Poland 541.50 1.23
8 Antofagasta London UK 492.10 -5.35
9 Rio Tinto Melbourne Australia 486.80 -8.82
10 Anglo American London UK 461.40 4.19

Source: Miningintelligence

*Does not include copper production through equity ownership in other companies or streamed copper production.

BHP, Antofagasta and Rio Tinto’s operations were disrupted due to global pandemic, which has led to production halts.

First Quantum Minerals showed the largest increase from the previous year, whose Sentinel mine in Zambia and Cobre Panama have been the key contributors in achieving double-digit growth.

It is also worth mentioning companies that are not on the list, such as Russian Norilsk Nickel (456.2Kt), Brazilian Vale SA (355.5Kt) and UK-based KAZ Minerals (305.7Kt).

You can download an excel data file of TOP-10 copper mining producers from website of the MiningIntelligence.