SHANGHAI, Aug 6 (SMM) — Most of the large-scale copper mines in the world saw year-on-year declines in output in the first half of 2020, according to their H1 production results.
BHP, Codelco, Freeport, Glencore and Southern Copper ranked top in copper production in the first six months of 2020. Among the 13 mines surveyed by SMM, only 4 saw year-on-year rises in copper output, including Codelco (+5%), Southern Copper (+2%), First Quantum Minerals (+19%) and Lunding Mining (+9%). Commissioning of the Cobre Panama project mainly contributed to the increase in copper output of First Quantum Minerals, and acquisition of the Chapata copper mine helped H1 output at Lunding Mining rise 9% on year.
Output fell sharply at Glencore (-11%), MMG (-22%) and Teck Resources (-12%). SMM found that mines who saw sharp falls in output all have copper mines in Peru which was badly hit by the coronavirus in the first half of this year. H1 output shrank 31.9%, 19.3% and 29.2% at Antamina, Antacappay and Las Bambas respectively, all on a yearly basis.
Impact of Covid-19 on overseas mines worsened in Q2. Of the 13 mines surveyed by SMM, 8 suffered falls on second-quarter copper output, of which Codelco (-7.8%), Antofagasta (-8.4%), First Quantum Minerals (-13.3%), Vale (-10.6%), MMG (-16.2%) and Teck Resources (-16.4%) saw larger declines.
H1 copper output shrank in Peru, but expanded in Chile and Zambia. Chile’s copper output slid for the first time in June since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, dipping 0.6% on year to 472,172 mt, according to data from INE. Copper output at Codelco, the world’s largest copper producer, expanded 4.7% to 744,000 mt in H1 from the same period of last year despite impact from Covid-19. Zambia produced 420,000 mt of copper in H1, up about 6% from a year earlier.
In the first half of 2020, Peru’s production of copper, gold, zinc, silver, lead, iron and tin all decreased compared with the same period last year. Copper output fell 20.4%, gold output plunged 34.7% and zinc output shrank 23.7%.