The global copper industry expanded by over 40% in 2011 and accounted for $90 billion in revenues. The copper industry was greatly affected by a global drop in commodity prices in 2009, which caused a sharp decline in many markets. However, the decline was promptly reversed by increased consumption especially by fast developing countries like China. The mining of copper is generally confined to a few regions such as South America, Eastern Europe and some countries in the Asia-Pacific region. The leading players are large multinationals who dominate the market. Buyers come from numerous industries, with electricity and wires manufacturers being at the top of the list, and the industry players can rely on a relatively large number of customers. The world's ten largest copper producers accounted for over 85 million metric tons of copper production in 2010. The following are the world's top five.
In 2010, Chile was the largest copper producer in the world, with an output of 5,320,000 metric tons. The largest copper mine in Chile is the Minera Escondida, where production commenced in 1990. Not only does this mine produce the most amount of copper in Chile, it is also the largest copper producer in the world. In 2008, production reached 1,255,019 metric tons of copper, representing approximately 23.5 percent of Chilean production. Since 2005, a second pit, called Escondida Norte was opened just 15 km from the main pit.
The United States took the second spot in copper production, with an output of 1,310,000 metric tons. There are two major copper mines in the U.S. The Bingham Canyon Mine, also known as the Kennecott Copper Mine, is an open-pit mine just southwest of Salt Lake City, Utah, USA. The mine is owned by Rio Tinto Group, with operations managed through Kennecott Utah Copper Corporation The mine has been in production since 1906, over its lifespan, Bingham Canyon has proven to be one of the world's most productive mines. In addition to copper, gold, silver, and molybdenum are extracted from the giant porphyry deposit. In 2010, 265,600 tons of copper were mined from Bingham.
Peru fell just behind the U.S. in copper output, producing 1,260,000 metric tons. Peru's largest copper producer is Southern Peru Copper Corporation. SPCC operates the Toquepala and Cuajone copper mines located high in the Andes, approximately 400 miles southeast of Lima. So far, Southern Copper has witnessed an extremely profitable 2010; the company estimates 2010 copper production will top 500,000 tonnes. Antamina is the second largest copper producer in Peru, when the company produced 362,100 tons of copper.
We bring an entire in-depth coverage of the major copper mines of the world in the research report Analyzing the Major Copper Mines Worldwide. This extensive report covers comprehensive profiles of the copper mines worldwide, which includes production data, location data, geographic data, and much more. The report also includes a brief profile of the global mining industry, the global copper industry, and the environmental legacy of the mining industry.