Worldwide copper production dropped 0.8% in first eight months of 2020

Gold & Silver

World mine production fell about 4% in April and May due to COVID-19 restrictions that resulted in temporary mine shutdowns and reduced production levels, wrote the International Copper Study Group in a study released on Monday.

However, production started to recover by the end of May. The overall impact on the first eight months of the years saw production down 0.8%.

Peru’s production was one of the hardest hit, with a 16.5% decline in mine output over the first eight months of 2020. During the worst of COVID-19, production dropped 38% in April-May compared to the same period of 2019.

Chile actually upped production slightly in the first eight months of the year due to clearing operational constraints from the year prior.

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There were some regions where production was up sharply.

“Production in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Panama increased significantly mainly due to the ramp-up of new
mines or expansions. In Indonesia, production grew by 23% as output levels improved following the transition of the country’s
major two copper mines to different ore zones in 2019,” wrote ICSG.

In the DRC, Ivanhoe Mines has been developing its Kamoa-Kakula project, what it calls the world’s largest, undeveloped, high-grade copper discovery. Kakula Mine processing plant is scheduled for July 2021.

The Cobre Panama Mine is 120km west of Panama City. The first copper shipment was last year.

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