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World copper mine production declined by 1% in the first half of 2020 - International Copper Study Group

Kitco News

World copper mine production declined by 1% in the first half of 2020, with concentrate production
declining by 1.2% and solvent extraction-electrowinning (SX-EW) falling by 0.4%, said International Copper Study Group.

"World mine production is estimated to have declined by 4% in April-May as these two months were the most affected by the COVID-19 related global lockdown that resulted in temporary mine shutdowns/reduced production levels. However, world mine production started to recover in May as lockdown measures eased and June output reached the same level as June 2019," wrote the group in its September update.

The group noted that stoppages in Peru due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which were combined with operational and weather issues, affected a few major mines and led to a 20% decline in mine output over the first half of 2020 including a significant decline of 38% in April-May compared to the same period of 2019.

"However, as the Peruvian mining industry started to recover the extent of the reduction narrowed to 9% in June, compared to the same month in 2019."

The group noted that mine production also declined in Australia, Canada, Mexico, Mongolia, and the United States.

"In Chile, the world's biggest copper mine producing country, output increased by 2.6%, recovering from production constraints in early 2019 (production was down by 2.5% in 1st Half of 2019)."

In the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the group noted that mine production increased by 5% as output from ramp-up mines more than offset the temporary closure of the Mutanda mine in December 2019. In Indonesia, production grew by 18% as output levels improved following the transition of the country’s major two copper mines to different ore zones in 2019.

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