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Top 10 largest copper mining companies in 2022 - report

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(Kitco News) - The world’s top 10 largest copper mining companies ranked by reported attributable mined copper production in 2022 (calendar year).

Production at the Chilean mining giant Codelco, the world’s largest copper mining company, declined 10% year-on-year to 1,553 thousand tonnes (incl. Codelco’s stake in El Abra and Anglo American Sur) in 2022. The company said that its copper production was affected by a lower grade and lower copper recovery at the Ministro Hales mine, as well as at Chuquicamata and El Teniente divisions.

Freeport-McMoRan is the world’s second largest copper mining company with attributable copper production of 1,526 thousand tonnes in 2022, which is 8.5% more than a year ago, primarily due to strong production performance at Grasberg.

BHP is third with 1,132 thousand tonnes of copper (attributable) mined in 2022, up 10.8% compared to 2021, primarily due to strong concentrator throughput at Escondida and increased production at Olympic Dam.

Glencore sits fourth. The company’s 2022 own sourced copper production of 1,058 thousand tonnes was 12% lower than in 2021 due to ongoing geotechnical constraints at Katanga, the basis change arising from the sale of Ernest Henry in January 2022, Collahuasi mine sequencing and a lower contribution from Mount Isa.

Southern Copper (part of Grupo México) is fifth. Southern Copper’s overall mined copper production in 2022 decreased by 6.6% y-o-y to 894,703 tonnes. The company explained that the lower mined copper output in 2022 was attributable to the Cuajone stoppage and a temporary decline in ore grades.

China’s Zijin Mining ranked sixth with 859,000 tonnes of mine-produced copper in 2022 (up 47% over 2021). The company increased its annual copper output following the successful production commencement of key projects such as the Upper Zone of the Cukaru Peki copper and gold mine in Serbia, the Kamoa-Kakula copper mine and the Julong copper mine in Tibet.

First Quantum sits seventh. The company produced 776kt of copper, down 5% compared to 2021 (816kt). First Quantum said that Cobre Panama delivered record annual production while output at Kansanshi was lower than 2021 due to lower grades.

Polish mining giant KGHM sits eighth. The company mine produced 540kt of copper in 2022, including own copper in concentrate production from the company’s domestic assets in Poland as well as from its international operations.

Rio Tinto’s attributable mined copper production of 521 thousand tonnes in 2022 was 6% higher than 2021 due to higher grades at Kennecott and Escondida, partly offset by lower grades and recoveries at Oyu Tolgoi as a result of planned mine sequencing.

Anglo American is tenth. The company mine produced 468kt of attributable copper in 2022, in line with 2021 (462kt).

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