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Chile was the largest copper producer in 2020; top copper countries felt impact of the pandemic - report

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(Kitco News) - As Kitco reported before, according to the preliminary data released by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), estimated global mine production of copper was 20 million tonnes in 2020, or 2% decrease over 2019 (20.4 million tons).

With ~5,700 ktonnes of copper mined in 2020, Chile was the top copper producer worldwide, followed by Peru (2,200 ktonnes) and China (1,700 ktonnes). The top ten copper producing countries mined 15,920 ktonnes of copper in 2020, a 2.3% decline over 2019 (16,289 ktonnes).  

Five countries (China, DRC, Russia, Zambia and Kazakhstan) out of the top ten increased their copper output and five (Chile, Peru, USA, Australia and Mexico) have seen a decline in production.

USGS said that global copper output declined over previous year primarily due to COVID-19 lockdowns in April and May. These disruptions significantly affected output in Peru, the second-ranked mine producer of copper.

The top ten copper producing countries, ktonnes. 2020* preliminary data. Source: USGS.

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