Top 10 Copper Producers by Country in 2024

The price of copper has not been immune to the market volatility that has affected most commodities over the past year, mainly due to weakened demand from China.

Experts predict a return to strong copper demand in 2024.

According to independent metals and mining consultant Karen Norton, “with the market now looking more balanced, prices are susceptible to larger swings in one direction or the other in the event of significant news affecting the market.” However, although the range may be wider than previous forecasts, the annual average may not differ much from that of 2023, even if the improvement in the economic picture should lead to a stronger end of the year

For investors interested in the red metal, it’s worth looking at copper production by country. According to the latest data from the US Geological Survey, world copper production was 22 million metric tons (MT) in 2023



Mine production: 5 million MT

Chile is once again in first place as a copper producer last year, with a production of 5 million MT, about 23 percent of global copper output.

Not surprisingly, many of the world’s major copper mines have significant operations in Chile, including the state-owned company Codelco, BHP, Anglo American, Glencore, and Antofagasta. In 2023, Chile’s production was at a 15-year low due to lower power levels and water shortages, as well as a decline in investment

However, Chile’s copper production is expected to recover to record levels in 2025, according to S&P Global, reaching an estimated 6 million tons thanks to the ramp-up of new mines.



Mine production: 2.6 million MT

Peru’s copper production increased year on year, rising by 150,000 MT compared to the total of 2.6 million MT in 2022. Although production was hampered by anti-government protests and road blocks earlier in the year, copper production activities in Peru subsequently normalized. Major copper operations in Peru include Anglo American’s Quellaveco mine and Southern Copper’s Tia Maria mine

Most of the copper produced in the country is exported to China, with other major export destinations such as Japan, South Korea and Germany.

3. Democratic Republic of the Congo

Mine production: 2.5 million MT

Copper production from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) increased by 150,000 MT compared to 2022 levels, reaching 2.5 million MT in 2023. One of the main growing copper projects in the DRC is Ivanhoe Mines’ Kamoa-Kakula project, a joint venture with partner Zijin
Mining Group.

The DRC has increased its copper production rapidly in recent years and now accounts for more than 11 percent of global copper mine production. With many other projects in the pipeline nearing completion, the Democratic Republic of Congo is in a good position to overtake Peru and become the second country for copper production



Mine production: 1.7 million MT

China, the world’s largest consumer of copper, ranked fourth for global copper production in 2023. To meet the demand for copper from the construction and transportation sectors, the country depends on copper imports

Chinese production decreased by 240,000 MT compared to 1.94 million MT in 2022. Zijin Mining Group is a major metal producer in China and owns the Zijinshan copper-gold mine and the Shuguang
gold-copper mine.

However, when it comes to the production of refined copper, China is far in the lead. Its refined copper production totaled 12 million MT in 2023, representing more than 44 percent of global refined copper production and six times the production of Chile, the second largest producer of refined copper

5. United States

Mine production: 1.1 million MT

In fifth place for copper production by country is the United States, whose copper output fell by 10 percent in 2023. Most of the country’s production comes from Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Nevada, Montana, Michigan, and Missouri.

According to the US Geological Survey, the decrease in the production of copper mined in the United States can be attributed to a variety of reasons, from unscheduled assistance and lower degrees to weather events and geotechnical problems.

The United States also ranks among the top 10 copper exporters in the global market, primarily in the form of minerals and concentrates, but also as refined copper.

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