May 17, 2020

Can't miss: Week in review

Top 10
2 min
Can't miss: Week in review

No deal: South Africa gold union NUM rejects final pay offer

Theres no denying the worth of gold and miners in South Africa are demanding to be paid...

No deal: South Africa gold union NUM rejects final pay offer

There’s no denying the worth of gold and miners in South Africa are demanding to be paid accordingly. The country’s largest union has rejected the latest -- and final -- pay offer pr...[read more]

[INFOGRAPHIC] Asteroid mining: the making of a trillion-dollar industry

While futuristic in nature, asteroid mining is becoming a real possibility and its financial payoff isn’t too shabby either. According to space mining start-up Planetary Resource , the...[read more]

How General Electric and Mitsui plan to drive down operational costs

General Electric  is teaming up with Japanense resources and energy company Mitsui to explore new ways of driving mining operational costs down, signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) e...[read more]

Goldcorp: Operational excellence done right

In today’s declining mining environment it’s not enough to be good--you have to be great. There’s simply no room for mediocrity. For mining companies to maintain high produc...[read more]

Liebherr Mining settles lawsuit over copycat allegations

Equipment manufacturer  Liebherr Mining  is putting an end to its copycat lawsuit, reaching an agreement with a Chinese manufacturing group to officially settle the lawsuit once and for ...[read more]

Rio Tinto aims to cut costs by $1 billion but how?

Frugality is the name of the game in the mining industry right now and Rio Tinto is pulling out all the stops. The miner recently announced it was increasing its target savings from $750 million...[read more]

[VIDEO] World Gold Council report: Gold demand drops to six-year low

The World Gold Council ’s  Gold Demand Trends report for Q2 2015  shows total demand was 915 tons, a fall of 12 percent compared to the same period last year, due mainly to a de...[read more]

Mining equipment in Latin America: What does the future hold?

Despite recent struggles in the mining sector, Latin America continues to be an important destination for mining investment, exploration, development and equipment manufacturing. During...[read more]

Mining industry in South Africa looks to advance women

At last week’s Women in Mining Conference in Johannesburg, Mineral Resources Minister Advocate Ngoako Ramatlhodi addressed occupational challenges faced by  women in the mining industry...[read more]

Australia is primed to cash in on uranium

If demand for  uranium  were to ever flourish like it did for  iron ore  a few years back, Australia is well positioned to cash in. The industry remains relatively small c...[read more]

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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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