Mining vehicle fire-protection systems are based on a Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment (HIRA)

Chile’s Codelco was the world’s largest copper mining company in Q1 2023 (based on attributable copper tonnes), followed by Freeport-McMoRan and BHP. The top 10 copper producers mined 2,209 ktonnes of copper in Q1 2023, down 3% compared to Q1 2022.

Kitco ranked the top 10 largest copper mining companies worldwide based on their reported attributable copper production in Q1 2023.

Production at the Chilean mining giant Codelco, the world’s largest copper mining company, decreased 9% year-on-year to 352 thousand tonnes (incl. Codelco’s stake in El Abra and Anglo American Sur) in Q1 2023 compared to 387 ktonnes in Q1 2022.

The company reported that this decline in production was driven by operational difficulties and lower ore grade at Chuquicamata, a decline in mineral processing at Andina due to concentrator plant maintenance shutdown and downtime. Furthermore, Ministro Hales had lower grade and lower recovery rates due to higher feed from stocks.

Freeport-McMoRan sits second with 297 thousand tonnes of copper produced in Q1 2023 (less noncontrolling interests), a decline of 19% compared to Q1 2022 primarily due to a significant weather event at Grasberg that temporarily disrupted operations during February 2023 (full recovery achieved in March).

BHP landed third with 279 thousand tonnes of copper produced in Q1 2023. The company’s attributable copper production increased by 12% y-o-y primarily due to higher output at Escondida and Olympic Dam.

Glencore sits fourth as its own sourced copper production of 244 thousand tonnes in Q1 2023 was 5% lower than Q1 2022, largely due to planned lower grades in line with the phasing of the pit at Collahuasi and delays associated with adverse weather conditions at Antamina.

China’s Zijin Mining, which controls the largest volumes of copper and gold resources overseas among Chinese companies, ranked fifth in Q1 2023, with its mine-produced copper of 244 thousand tonnes reported for Q1.

Southern Copper (part of Grupo Mexico) is sixth. The company’s copper production registered an increase 4.1% y-o-y to 223 thousand tonnes in Q1 2023, primarily due to production increase at the Cuajone mine, which was up 48.5% y-o-y driven by higher ore grades and a return to full operating capacity.

Polish mining giant KGHM landed seventh in Q1 2023. The company’s production of payable copper was lower by 9% compared to the first quarter of 2022 and amounted to 176 thousand tonnes.

First Quantum sits eighth. The company’s total copper production for Q1 2023 was 139 thousand tonnes, down 24% y-o-y as each of the company’s three largest operations had negative production impacts during the period.

Rio Tinto is ninth as its attributable mined copper production of 131 thousand tonnes was 4% higher than the first quarter of 2022.

Anglo American is closing the top 10 list. The company’s attributable copper production increased by 20% y-o-y to 124 thousand tonnes in Q1 2023, primarily due to the ramp-up of production from its new Quellaveco mine in Peru.

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