May 17, 2020

Barrick Gold to Form Partnership with Ma'aden for Copper Project

Barrick Gold Corporation
Jabal Sayid
copper mine
2 min
Barrick Gold to Form Partnership with Maaden for Copper Project
Toronto-based Barrick Gold Corp. announced it has secured a joint venture partnership with Saudi Arabian mining company Maaden to run its Jabal Sayid co...

Toronto-based Barrick Gold Corp. announced it has secured a joint venture partnership with Saudi Arabian mining company Ma’aden to run its Jabal Sayid copper project in the kingdom.

According to the agreement, Ma’aden will pay $210 million to acquire a 50 percent stake in Barrick’s underground copper project, which is located 120 kilometers southeast of Medina in the western region of Saudi Arabia. The project has been delayed due to regulatory hurdles in the kingdom.

“This joint venture will enable the Jabal Sayid project to move forward with the benefit of Ma’aden’s extensive experience in the Saudi Arabian mining sector, combined with Barrick’s technical and operating expertise,” said Jamie Sokalsky, Barrick’s President and CEO.

“Once in production, Jabal Sayid will be a high-quality, low-cost underground copper mine capable of generating substantial free cash flow, while providing benefits for local communities through training, employment and economic development.”

The partnership is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2014 and is subject to customary closing conditions. Approvals from the Saudi Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources have already been obtained for the transaction.

Barrick acquired the Jabal Sayid copper mine in 2011 when it purchased Equinox Minerals Ltd. in order to gain control of the large Lumwana copper mine in Zambia.

The joint venture with Ma’aden marks the first partnership the company has formed since John Thornton became Barrick’s executive chairman earlier this year.

Jabal Sayid is expected to produce 60,000 tons of copper concentrate annually over the first five years.

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May 14, 2021

Copper production from top ten companies to increase by 3.8%

First Quantum
2 min
Following a marginal slump in copper production due to COVID-19, output from top ten companies set to rise up to 3.8% in 2021 reveals GlobalData analysis

Copper production from the world’s top companies is set to increase by up to 3.8% this year, following a fall of 0.2% in 2020, GlobalData analysis reveals. Last year’s marginal slump saw production drop to 11.76 million tonnes (Mt).


The initial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on mining operations was immense, however, six of the ten largest copper producers succeeded in increasing output last year. In 2021, copper production from the top ten copper companies is expected to bounce back, rising by up to 3.8%, to reach 12.2Mt, according to GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company. 

First Quantum

The highest increase in copper production was by Canada’s First Quantum, which, despite all the challenges, reported 10.4% growth in 2020. The company’s Sentinel mine in Zambia and Cobre Panama were key contributors to this growth. While the latter remained under care and maintenance between April and August 2020, it delivered record production levels during the subsequent months.



Codelco, the world’s largest producer of the red metal used in electric vehicles, also bucked the trend.

Vinneth Bajaj, Associate Project Manager at GlobalData, commented: “Despite Codelco reporting over 3,400 active cases during July 2020, the company achieved 1.2% growth in its production in 2020. The company implemented a four-phase plan, as part of the COVID-19 measures, to ensure the health and safety of its employees, while also avoiding any significant impact to its copper output.” 

Freeport McMoRan

Although the overall impact was minimal, declines in production were observed from Glencore (8.2%), Antofagasta (4.7%), BHP (3.9%) and Freeport McMoRan (1.3%). Reduced operational workforces due to COVID-19 measures, lower ore grades and production halts due to maintenance were the key disruptors to output during 2020.

Electric Vehicles

The move towards electric vehicles and clean energy from renewables sources such as solar panels and wind turbines has driven the copper price to all-time highs. Copper has been among the best performers over the last month where metals ranging from aluminum to iron ore have surged to their highest prices in years. The rally is being fueled by stimulus measures, near-zero interest rates and signs that economies are recovering from the global pandemic. 



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