World’s Largest Copper Mines


The world uses copper more than any other metal, and for good reason.

Populations and economies around the world have increased copper production, particularly in China, which in 2020 accounted for 54% of global refined copper consumption. Construction and renewable energy are two industries that use copper extensively.

Copper has been mined for a total of 700 million metric tonnes throughout history. According to the average price of $6,042/metric tonne for 2019, that is worth $4.2 trillion, which is greater than the combined value of Apple and Amazon.

The 10 Largest Copper Mines in the World

Porphyry deposits are where copper is most found. Escondida in Chile, which has produced more than one million tonnes of copper over the past two years, continues to be by far the world’s top copper producer.

Ranking of 10 Copper Mines in the World: by Capacity

  1. ESCONDIDA: Chile’s Escondida, which is owned by the largest copper miner in the world and runs in the nation that produces the most copper, continues to be the world’s top copper producer, surpassing one million tonnes once more.
  2. Collahuasi: The second place mine, Collahuasi, which is also in Chile and is owned by Anglo American and Glencore, produced 630 kilotonnes (Kt) of copper-graded material in 2021.
  3. Buenavista del Cobre: A sizable open pit copper mine called Buenavista is situated in Cananea, Sonora, in the northwest of Mexico. Near Nogales, Arizona, it is located 35 km (22 mi) south of the international boundary. One of the largest copper reserves in both Mexico and the world is found at the Buenavista mine.
  4. MORENCI: With an output of 397.3 kt grading 0.29 percent copper, the Morenci mine in Arizona, which is majority owned by Freeport McMoRan, is the largest copper mine in the United States and the eighth largest in the world.
  5. CERRO VERDE: Cerro Verde in Peru, which produced 402.3 Kt in 2021 and grade 0.36 percent copper, is in fifth place.
  6. ANTAMINA: The Antamina mine in Peru, a joint venture between BHP and Glencore, is in fifth place with 429.6 kts of output grading 0.91 percent copper.
  7. Polar Division: In 2019, the Polar Division and Medvezhy Ruchey accounted for 71% and 36% of the Group’s total output of copper and PGMs, respectively.
  8. Las Bambas: Large open-pit copper mine in Peru called Las Bambas. The polymetallic mine is situated in the Challhuahuacho District of Cotabambas Province in the Apurmac Region of the southern Peruvian Andes at a height of about 4000 metres above sea level.
  9. GRASBERG: Third place goes to Inalum’s Grasberg operations in Indonesia, which produced 606 kt of 1.07 percent copper during the year.
  10. El Teniente: Codelco’s El Teniente mine in Chile generated 459.8 kt of copper grading 0.83 percent in 2021.

Copper: Recycling

Copper is one of the few materials that does not degrade or lose its chemical and physical properties during the recycling process. Recycling has the potential to extend the use of resources and minimize waste. The International Copper Study Group estimated that 32% of the world’s copper consumption came from recycled copper in 2018.

Rising Demand: New Mines on the Block?

The value of new copper mining ventures is rising, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see new names on the list of the biggest copper mines. For instance, after expansion, the Kamoa-Kakula Mine, which began producing in May 2021, is anticipated to produce 800,000 tonnes of copper annually.