Copper is one of the most important minerals out there, so let’s take a look at the companies responsible for its production, with the top 11 largest copper producing countries in the world. You might think the US would right at the very top in copper production and considering the size of its reserves, you would have every right to think that. However, it is barely halfway in our list, even though its reserves are almost double that of China, which actually produces more copper.
This news shouldn’t be surprising for anyone familiar with the capitalistic nature of the United States. If sellers can cheaply outsource it, they will, no questions asked. No one will ever stop and consider the impact this will have on the country. No one will think twice that these are jobs which could go to fellow country men instead of other countries such as China, who are already threatening the US’s economic power.
So why is copper so popular? Well, copper is most popularly used in electrical wiring and motors. It has several properties uniquely suited to this situation as copper is not only a conductor of electricity but heat as well. Traditional uses of copper include it being used to make coins; in fact, all US coins are now made of copper alloys.
In the United States, copper production actually increased by 6% from 2018 to 2019. However, the value of copper production still fell, from $8.05 billion t0 $7.9 billion, due to a decrease in copper prices. The state in the US producing the most copper was Arizona, which was responsible for 68% of the domestic output alone.
According to a US Geological Survey in 2014, identified resources currently contain around 2.1 billion tons of copper, while unidentified resources contain around 3.5 billion tons. This means that more copper is present in deposits not yet discovered than those which have been discovered. If these deposits are found, that could significantly increase the business and value of major copper companies in the US such as Southern Copper (NYSE:SCCO) and Teck Resources (NYSE:TECK).
To rank the countries according to the production of copper, we relied on the Mineral Commodities Survey 2020, and ranked countries according to their production in both 2018 and 2019. Where the average ranking came out to be the same, we gave a better ranking to the country with higher output in 2019. If minerals tend to interest you, you should also consider taking a look at the 13 largest cobalt producing countries in the world.
So without further ado, let’s take a look at the top 11 copper producing countries in the world, starting of course with number 11: