Toronto, Canada — MININGREVIEW.COM — 03 August 2009 – World copper mine production rose by 21% during the 10-year period from 1999 to 2008, from 12.8 million to 15.5 Mt. Copper in concentrates rose by 18%, while solvent extraction-electro-winning production rose by 34%.
Releasing this data here, the International Copper Study Group (ICSG) added that the mine capacity utilisation rate had averaged 89.3% over the period, but that the rate had fallen sharply during latter years.
Over the 2006-2008 period “’ as a result of numerous factors including lower head grades, labour unrest, technical problems, and equipment, labour and utility shortages “’ capacity utilisation had averaged only 84.9% and mine production had grown by an average of only 1.2% per year.
The ISCG revealed that mine production had grown 2.6% pa during the preceding seven years and had averaged 2.2% over the 10-year period. Notable changes in annual mine production over 1999-2008 had included an almost 1Mt increase in Chilean production; a combined 1.7 Mt increase from revival of the African copper belt and expansions/new projects in Peru and China; and a combined 21% decline of 425 000 t in Mexican and U.S. production.
On a regional basis, production had increased by 89% in Africa (448 000 t), 35% in Latin America (1.8 Mt), 29% in Asia (630,000 t), 15% in Oceania (136 000 t), and 7% in Europe (97 000 t), and had declined by 17% in North America (438 000 t).
Over the 10-year period, annual world refined production had risen by 25% from 14.6 Mt in 1999 to 18.2 Mt in 2008, with an annual average growth rate of 2.6%. Primary and secondary refined production had increased by 25% and 26%, respectively.
The ICSG went on to say that world annual refined copper usage had increased by 26% over the 10-year period from 14.3 Mt to 18.0 Mt “’ an annual growth rate of 2.6%. Growth had been driven by China, where usage over the 10-year period increased by around 245%. The global growth rate over the period excluding China was only 0.1%.
On a regional basis, usage had grown in Africa by 213% (195 000 t), in Asia excluding China by 18% (680 000t), and in Europe excluding EU countries by 108% (768 000 t). Usage had decreased in the Americas by 28% (1.2 Mt), in the EU-15 countries by 11% (440 000 t) and Oceania by 12% (20 000t).