Top Ten Copper Mining Companies

In 2011, the world’s top copper mining companies were in order of production:

Codelco 1,735,000 tonnes

The state-owned Chilean group is the world’s single biggest copper producer. In 2011, Codelco produced a record 1, 735,000 tonnes of copper at its wholly owned mines, up from the 1,690,000 tonnes produced in 2010.

Freeport-McMoRan (NYSE:FCX) 1,678,000 tonnes

Freeport produced 1,678,000 tonnes of copper in 2011, a decrease from the year earlier as labour and pipeline disruptions impacted output.

BHP Billiton (ASX:BHP) 1,640,000 tonnes

BHP produced 1,640,000 tonnes of copper in 2011.  According to a statement by the company, copper production increased during 2011 as Olympic Dam reported annual material mined and milling records, strong operating performance was similarly reported at Pampa Norte and Antamina, where record annual milling rates mitigated the impact of lower grades.

Xstrata (LSE:XTA) 888,979 tonnes

The company produced about 888,979 tonnes of copper in 2010. Copper production was  3% lower than in 2010, which Xstrata attributed to the fact that the company entered  a transition period in which a number of operations approached the end of their mine life.

Anglo American (LSE:AAL) 645,000 tonnes

The London group produced about 645,000 tonness of copper in 2011, and has six copper operations in Chile. In the first half of the year, Anglo American reported production decreased by 14% due to high rainfall and lower grades at Collahuasi and Los Bronces as well as scheduled maintenance.

Glencore International (LSE:GLEN) 628,720 tonnes

The Swiss company, who announced a merger with Xstrata this year, produced about 628,720  tonnes of copper in 2011. Copper equivalent production volumes increased 16% in 2011 compared to 2010 due to strong output at various operations.

Grupo Mexico (OTC PINK:GMBXF)  598,000 tonnes

Groupo Mexico’s mining division represents the majority of the company’s sales through the Southern Copper Corporation, which includes Minera Mexico and Southern Peru, as well as Asarco in the United States. Grupo Mexico produced about 598,000 tonnes of copper in 2011.

Rio Tinto (LSE:RIO) 591,700 tonnes

The London-based company fell in the ranks in 2011, in 2010 RIO was in the 5th spot. In 2011, Rio Tinto experienced a dip in copper ore grades, although gold and molybdenum grades have remained strong. The Group expects to see improving grades in the second half of 2012 and into 2013. Production from the existing mines will be supplemented with Oyu Tolgoi’s first commercial production in 2013.  Rio Tinto owns the world’s largest copper mine, the Bingham Canyon Mine which is located in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Southern Copper Corp (NYSE:SCCO)587,491 tonnes

Southern Copper Company claims that their mine copper production in 2011 increased by 23% to 587,491 tonnes from 478,527 tonnes in 2010.

KGHM Polska Miedz (WAR:KGH) 543,000 tonnes

The Polish group produced about 543,000 tonnes of copper in 2011.

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