RANKED: Top 10 copper mining projects in the world – by Frik Els (Mining.com – November 29, 2019)


According to the US Geological Survey to date, roughly 700 million tonnes tons of copper have been produced around the world. This would fit into a cube measuring about 430 meters on a side and at today’s price would be worth more than $4 trillion. Around 21 million tonnes of copper is mined each year.

The USGS estimates identified deposits contain an estimated 2.1 billion tonnes of copper with porphyry deposits accounting for 1.8 billion tonnes. That brings the total amount of discovered copper to 2.8 billion tonnes. This would fit into a cube measuring 680 meters on a side.

Of the identified copper that has yet to be taken out of the ground, about 65% is found in just five countries: Chile, Australia, Peru, Mexico, and the United States.

MINING.COM and sister company Mining Intelligence compiled a list of the top 10 largest copper deposits currently under development and ranked them according to proven and probable reserves, a measure of economically mineable ore occurring in the mineral deposit.

1. Udokan – Russia
15 Mt contained Cu

With approximately 15 million tonnes of contained copper, Udokan is considered the largest undeveloped copper deposit in Russia and one of the biggest in the world. It is operated by Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov’s Baikal Mining Company.

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