More than just copper


  • Copper Production by Country – the Top Five


Even though Sweden, with its several mineral findings in the central and northern parts of the country, is an essential player in the copper production field, it doesn’t quite outrank the top copper exploration countries of the world. Here, you can find a list of copper production by country, enumerating the main manufacturers of copper worldwide. The numbers are from 2017.

5 – Australia – 920 thousand tonnes
Copper was first discovered in 1842 in South Australia, which contributed to, among other things, the settlement of skillful smelters and miners in the region. The cities of Moonta, Kadina and Wallaroo form the so called Copper Triangle and Australia has been in the top ten of copper producers since the beginning of the last century.

4 – The United States – 1,270 thousand tonnes
In conformity with Australia, copper mining has been a significant business ever since the rise of the copper district in the north of Michigan during the 1840’s. In 2014, the most important copper states were New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, Utah and Montana and that same year, the country had 45 million tonnes of remaining copper reserves.

3 – China – 1,860 thousand tonnes
From 2011 to 2017, the chinese copper production has almost doubled in volume, placing China in the top three spot. Jiangxi Copper, the biggest producer of copper in Mainland China, produces 340,000 tons of copper every year.

2 – Peru – 2,390 thousand tonnes
From the former Inca high quarters arose also major copper findings. The mining sector was initiated by companies from other countries, but is today one of the pillars of peruvian economy. The most copper rich regions are Arequipa, Ancash and Apurímac and the majority of the mines are situated in the Andes.

1 – Chile – 5,330 thousand tonnes
Chile is by far the country that produces the most copper in the world, having manufactured more than the double volume of runner up Peru. Copper mining in this Andean country is carried out by private companies and one public, Codelco, which is also the largest. The most used processes for obtaining copper in Chile are the so-called flotation and leaching methods, which allow copper to be separated from the minerals that contain it. The use of one or the other system depends on exactly where the copper is found.

Interested in the Swedish copper industry? Read more about the Copperstone Project here!

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