The World’s Biggest Copper Mines Based On Their Contained Reserves

Escondida, Chile

Escondida copper mine in the Atacama Desert in Northern Chile is currently the world’s largest copper mine by reserve. The mine contained more than 32 million tonnes (Mt) of recoverable copper reserves at the end of 2012. Escondida is also the world’s largest copper producing mine, in the financial year ending June 2013 output stood at 1.1 million tonnes (Mt), accounting for about five percent of global copper production. The mine has been in operation since late 1990 and is currently one of the10 deepest open-pit mines in the world. The reserve life of Escondida is estimated to be 54 years.

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Cananea, Mexico

Cananea, also known as Buenavista copper mine, located in Sonora, Mexico, is the world’s second biggest copper mine by reserve. The open-pit mine was estimated to contain 26.874Mt of copper reserve as of December 2012. A total 200,000t of copper was mined from the pit in 2012. Opened in 1899, Cananea is one of the oldest open-pit mines in North America and is currently owned and operated by the Southern Copper Corporation (SCC), a subsidiary of Grupo Mexico. The mine extracts the porphyry copper deposit lying within the southern Cordilleran region. The ore is refined at an on-site concentrator, which has a milling capacity of 77,000 tonnes per day.

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Collahuasi, Chile

Collahuasi copper mine is 180km south-east of the port of Iquique in northern Chile ranks as the third largest copper mine in the world. Proven and probable copper reserves of the open-pit mine as of December 2012 stood at 25.895Mt. The mine produced 282,096t of copper in 2012, accounting for 5.1% of Chile’s total copper output. The mine produced 245,288t of copper concentrates and 36,808t of copper cathodes in 2012. It has been in operation since 1999. It exploits three mineral deposits, namely Rosario, Ujina and Huinquintipa, in the Pica municipal district of Tarapacá Region. The mine life is 70 years.

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Andina, Chile

Andina copper mine, located 80km north-east of Santiago in northern Chile, is the fourth biggest copper mine in the world by reserve. The mine was estimated to contain 18.8Mt of fine copper at the beginning of 2013. Andina is owned and operated by Chile’s state-owned Codelco (Corporacion Nacional del Cobre de Chile), the largest copper producing company in the world. The copper deposit was discovered in 1920 and mining operations began in 1970.

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Toquepala, Peru

Toquepala copper mine, situated 870km away from Lima in Southern Peru, ranks as the world’s fifth largest copper mine by reserve. The open-pit mine was estimated to contain 17.65Mt of copper reserve as of December 2012. Southern Copper Corporation (SCC), a subsidiary of Grupo Mexico, owns and operates the mine. Toquepala produced about 152,000t of copper in 2012, including 120,000t of copper concentrates and 32,000t of copper cathodes. Ore is extracted from the Toquepala porphyry copper deposit located in the southern-most Andes Mountains of Peru. The extracted ore is refined at an on-site concentrator with a milling capacity of 60,000tpd.

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As an international manufacturer and supplier for copper sheet and bronze sheet, Shanghai Metal Corporation produces slitting, edging, and oscillates winding to fit your specific copper requirements. For more information on our copper products please visit our website here. Be sure to join the conversation in our Linkedln group, Facebook and Instagram.

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Sources: www.mining-technology.com,caprari.com.au

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William P.//SMC Editor

Peru Set to Explode with Copper Extraction

Peru is re-positioning themselves to catapult in front of China to take back second place in the title race for the largest Copper extraction nation in the world. Second only to Chile who produce a whopping 5.8 million tonnes of Copper annually, Peru is set to ramp up their annual Copper output capabilities by approximately double from 1.4 million tonnes in 2013, to 2.8 million tonnes before the beginning of 2016.

The expected green lights on five core Peruvian Copper mining projects underpin this massive growth aspirations and development of the Copper industry in Peru. These projects include; the US$4.6 billion expansion venture of the Cerro Verde’s which is expected to finish up at the beginning of 2016, Southern Copper’s controversial US$1 billion expansion of the Tia Maria mine which had been on hold since 2011 due to community concern for the inadequately proposed water usage and pollution management strategies has resolved these issues through a revisal of environmental management strategies which are expected to gain local approval soon, the US$3.5 billion Toromocho mine which opened last December, US$900 million expansion of Toquepala mine,  and the Chinese owned and led US$5.86 billion Las Bambas mine which is expected to shift it’s Copper output upwards from 1.3 million tonnes in 2013 to 2.8 million tonnes before 2016.

Peru_cooper_mine_GlencoreSince China is the worlds leading consumer of Copper, Peru exports approximately one quarter of their total Copper extracted to China alone. However recent events such as slowing Chinese housing growth and the Qing Dao collateral scandal have encouraged a cooling of Copper demand in China, forcing a slump in global Copper prices. Provided these current events do not have lasting effects over the next eighteen months, Peruvian Copper production levels can be expected to continue to close the gap between the Copper extraction market leaders in Chile.

Shanghai Metal Corporation stocks a wide selection of Copper-related products and raw materials for all your construction or manufacturing needs. Please take the time to browse our online catalog at: http://www.shanghaimetal.com/Copper–tpl3.html.

Zenn B.//SMC Editor