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The world's top 10 largest copper producers in 2020 - report

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(Kitco News) - The following is the list of the top 10 copper producers worldwide ranked based on attributable tonnes of copper mined in 2020 calendar year. The focus on attributable tonnes was made in order to avoid double counting.

With 1,727 ktonnes of copper mined in 2020 (including minority interests in El Abra and Anglo American Sur), Chilean mining behemoth Codelco is the largest copper producer worldwide. The company’s attributable copper output increased 1% compared to 2019 (1,706 ktonnes). Despite the pandemic, Codelco reached both production and cost targets in 2020.

Glencore is second with own sourced copper production of 1,258 ktonnes, which was 8% lower than in 2019, mainly reflecting Mutanda being on care and maintenance in 2020 (partly offset by Katanga’s successful ramp-up), with Covid-19 related suspensions being a much smaller factor.

Freeport-McMoRan is third with 1,178 ktonnes of copper produced in 2020.

BHP Billiton sits fourth with 1,107 ktonnes of attributable copper output in 2020 (calendar year ended 31 December 2020). BHP’s copper production decreased primarily due to its Chilean assets operated with a reduction in their operational workforces as a result of the comprehensive plan the company has implemented for COVID-19.

Southern Copper is fifth with a year of production records. The company’s copper output topped 1 million tonnes.

First Quantum’s copper production of 779 ktonnes for the full-year 2020 increased 11% from 2019 due to record production at Sentinel and significant increase in copper output at Cobre Panama.

In 2020, Poland-based KGHM Polska Miedz recorded an increase in copper production of 1% at 709 ktonnes compared to the corresponding period of 2019, due to the higher availability of the main production line in KGHM Polska Miedz S.A. and the processing of a higher volume of ore, of higher copper content and with higher recovery, by Sierra Gorda.

Rio Tinto’s mined copper of 528 ktonnes in 2020 was 8% lower than 2019, primarily due to lower grades at Kennecott, as a result of planned pit sequencing, and lower grades and lower material moved at Escondida.

Antofagasta’s attributable mine copper production for the full-year 2020 was 468 ktonnes, in line with guidance and 5% lower than the record production in 2019 mainly due to expected lower grades at Centinela Concentrates.

Anglo American is tenth with attributable copper production of 463 ktonnes, a 4% increase over 2019 largely due to secured access to industrial water at Los Bronces, partially offset by planned plant maintenance at Collahuasi.

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