The world's ten largest copper producers accounted for over 85 million metric tons of copper production in 2010. The list below is based-upon output from mines according to research done by the consulting company CRU. Production figures - shown beside each company name - are in thousands of metric tons.
1. Codelco (Chile) - 1,757
Controlling about 20% of the world's reserves of copper, Codelco - or the Corporación Nacional del Cobre de Chile - is an autonomous company owned by the government of Chile. In 2010, Codelco produced approximately 1.76 million metric tons of refined copper, about 11% of total world copper production, and its assets are worth more than US$ 20 billion.
2. Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. (USA) - 1,441
Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. (FCX) is the world's largest publicly traded copper producer. The company's assets include the Grasberg mining complex in Indonesia, the world’s largest copper and gold mine in terms of recoverable reserves, the Morenci and Safford minerals districts in North America and the Tenke Fungurume minerals district in the Democratic Republic of Congo. FCX produced 1.44 million metric tons of refined copper in 2010, equal to 9% of the world total.
3. BHP Billiton Ltd. (Australia) - 1,135
BHP Billiton produced over 1.1 million metric tons of refined copper in 2010 but has a diverse cache of mining assets and is one of the world's largest producers of aluminum, copper, manganese, iron ore, uranium, nickel, silver and titanium minerals. The company's copper assets include a 57.5% interest in Minera Escondida the world's largest copper producing mine, located Chile's Atacama Desert.
4. Xstrata Plc (Switzerland)- 907
Xtrata is a top five producer of copper, thermal coal, coking coal, ferrochrome, zinc and nickel and has operations in 19 countries. The company's copper production in 2010 was over 900 thousand metric tons and it has copper facilities located in Australia, Chile, Peru, Argentina and Canada.
5. Rio Tinto Group (UK/Australia) - 701
In 2010, Rio Tinto produced approximately 700 thousand metric tons of copper. It's key copper assets include Kennecott Utah Copper, which has been in existence for more than 100 years and operates the Bingham Canyon mine near Salt Lake City; a 40% share of the production from the Grasberg mine is Indonesia, which is one of the world’s largest copper and gold mines in terms of ore reserves and production; and a 30% share in the Minera Escondida copper mine in Chile’s Atacama Desert.
6. Anglo American Plc (UK) - 645
In 2010, Anglo American's sale of copper products accounted for over US$ 4.8 billion in revenue. The company's copper interests are concentrated in Chile and consist of the wholly-owned Los Bronces, El Soldado, Mantos Blancos and Mantoverde mines, the Chagres smelter and a 44% interest in the Collahuasi mine. The first shipments of copper products from the Los Bronces Development project began in 2011 and is expected to increase the company's total copper output to more than 900 thousand metric tons annually.
7. Grupo Mexico (Mexico) - 598
Grupo Mexico is the largest Mexican mining corporation in Mexico, operating 13 mines in the US, Mexico and Peru, and over US$ 8 billion in gross revenue in 2010. The company's most important copper assets include the Cananea mine complex in Mexico, as well as the Toquepala and Cuajone mines in Peru, which are operated by the Southern Copper Corporation (75.1% owned by Grupo Mexico).
8. Glencore International AG (Switzerland) - 542
Glencore International AG is a global commodities production and marketing company with over 54,800 employees in 30 countries and gross revenue of over US$ 144 billion in 2010. Glencore's copper assets include a 75.15% stake in Katanga Mining Limited in the Democratic Republic of Congo, a 73.1% stake in the Mopani mine in Zambia, 100% ownership of the Cobar mine in Australia and 78% ownership of the Philippine Associated Smelting and Refining Corporation (PASAR).
9. Southern Copper Corp. (USA) - 487
Southern Copper Corporation is an American based copper producer with major operations in Mexico and Peru. Grupo Mexico currently owns 75.1% of the company, which produced produced 487 thousand metric tons of copper in 2010. Major assets include the Cuajone and Toquepala mines in Peru and the Cananea mine in Mexico.
10. KGHM Polska Miedz SA (Poland) - 426
KGHM Polska Miedz is one of Poland's largest companies with over 28,000 employees and gross revenues over US$ 3 billion. KGHM operates three mines, Lubin, Rudna and Polkowice-Sierszowice, that produced 426 thousand metric tons of copper in 2010, along with significant quantities of silver.