World mine production is estimated to have increased by about 2.8% in the first nine month of 2018, with concentrate production rising by 2.7% and solvent extraction-electrowinning (SX-EW) by 3%: The increase in world mine production of about 410,000 t copper was mainly due to constrained output in 2017 (mainly in Chile, Indonesia and the DRC). Production in Chile, the world’s biggest copper mine producing country, increased by 7% primarily because production in February/March 2017 was restricted by a strike at Escondida (the world’s biggest copper mine) and also because there has been an improvement in Codelco’s production levels in 2018. Indonesian output increased by 23% because comparative output in 2017 was negatively affected by a temporary ban on concentrate exports that started in January and ended in April. SX-EW production in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) increased by 11% and Zambian mine output increased by 9% due to the restart of temporarily closed capacity in both countries. Although no major supply disruptions occurred in the first nine months of this year, overall growth was partially offset by lower output in Canada (-11%) and in the United States (-4.5%). After a strong increase over the last few years due to new and expanded capacity, output in Peru (the world’s second largest copper mine producing country) has stabilized. On a regional basis, mine production is estimated to have increased by around 7.5% in Africa, 4% in Latin America, 3% in Asia and 8% in Oceania but declined by 5% in North America and remained essentially unchanged in Europe.
Updated On 02-Jan-2019
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