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What is Copper?
Uses of Copper
Products of Copper
Routes of Exposition
Effects of Copper
Raw Materials
The Manufacturing Process
Quality Control
Byproducts /Waste

Copper Production by Country (Metric Tons)

World Refined Copper Production and Usage Trends
Copper Mine, Smelter, Refinery Production and Refined Copper Usage by
Geographical Area
v) Production and Distribution in India
Copper Plants in India
Month on Month Returns on Copper
Trends in World Refined Stocks & Prices
India Exports of Copper
India Imports of Copper
Top 10 Copper Producing Companies in World
Top four companies in Copper industry in India
Copper Market Forecast 2015-16

Table of Content

What is Copper?
Copper is a chemical element with symbol Cu (from Latin: cuprum) and atomic
number 29. It is a ductile metal with very high thermal and electrical
conductivity. Pure copper is soft and malleable; a freshly exposed surface has a
reddish-orange color. It is used as a conductor of heat and electricity, a building
material, and a constituent of various metal alloys.
It is one of the best electrical conductors of all the metals, and its abundance
helped it become the material that tied the world together in
The metal and its alloys have been used for thousands of years. In the Roman
era, copper was principally mined on Cyprus, hence the origin of the name of
the metal as aes yprium (metal of Cyprus), later corrupted to uprum, from
(English), cuivre (French),
Koper (Dutch)
and Kupfer (German) are all derived. Its compounds are commonly encountered
as copper (II) salts, which often impart blue or green colours to minerals such
as azurite and turquoise and have been widely used historically as pigments.
green verdigris (or patina). Decorative art prominently features copper, both by
itself and as part of pigments.
It is commonly used to produce a wide variety of products, including electrical
wire, cooking pots and pans, pipes and tubes, automobile radiators, and many
others. Copper is also used as a pigment and preservative for paper, paint,
textiles, and wood. It is combined with zinc to produce brass and with tin to
produce bronze.
Copper was first used as early as 10,000 years ago. A copper pendant from
about 8700 B.C. was found in what is now northern Iraq. There is evidence that
by about 6400 B.C. copper was being melted and cast into objects in the area
now known as Turkey. By 4500 B.C. , this technology was being practiced in
Egypt as well. Most of the copper used before 4000 B.C. came from the random
discovery of isolated outcroppings of native copper or from meteorites that had
impacted Earth. The first mention of the systematic extraction of copper ore
comes from about 3800 B.C. when an Egyptian reference describes mining
operations on the Sinai Peninsula.
In about 3000 B.C. , large deposits of copper ore were found on
Cyprus in the Mediterranean Sea. When the Romans conquered
gave the metal the Latin name aes cyprium, which was often
cyprium. Later this was corrupted to cuprum, from which the
copper and the chemical symbol Cu are derived.

the island of
Cyprus, they
shortened to
English word

In South America, copper objects were being produced along the northern coast
of Peru as early as 500 B.C. , and the development of copper metallurgy was
well advanced by the time the Inca empire fell to the conquering Spanish
soldiers in the 1500s.
In the United States, the first copper mine was opened in Branby, Connecticut,
in 1705, followed by one in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, in 1732. Despite this early
production, most copper used in the United States was imported from Chile until
1844, when mining of large deposits of high-grade copper ore around Lake
Superior began. The development of more efficient processing techniques in the
late-1800s allowed the mining of lower-grade copper ores from huge open-pit
mines in the western United States.
Today, the United States and Chile are the world's top two copper producing
countries, followed by Russia, Canada, and China.

Copper, silver and gold are in group 11 of the periodic table, and they share
certain attributes: they have one sorbital electron on top of a filled d-electron
shell and are characterized by high ductility and electrical conductivity. The
filled d-shells in these elements do not contribute much to the interatomic
interactions, which are dominated by the s-electrons through metallic bonds.
Unlike in metals with incomplete d-shells, metallic bonds in copper are lacking a
covalent character and are relatively weak. This explains the low hardness and
high ductility of single crystals of copper. At the macroscopic scale, introduction
of extended defects to the crystal lattice, such as grain boundaries, hinders flow
of the material under applied stress, thereby increasing its hardness. For this
reason, copper is usually supplied in a fine-grained polycrystalline form, which
has greater strength than monocrystalline forms.
The softness of copper partly explains its high electrical conductivity (59.6106
S/m) and thus also high thermal conductivity, which are the second highest
among pure metals at room temperature. This is because the resistivity to
electron transport in metals at room temperature mostly originates from
scattering of electrons on thermal vibrations of the lattice, which are relatively
weak for a soft metal. The maximum permissible current density of copper in
open air is approximately 3.1106 A/m2 of cross-sectional area, above which it
begins to heat excessively. As with other metals, if copper is placed against
another metal, galvanic corrosion will occur.
Together with caesium and gold (both yellow), and osmium (bluish), copper is
one of only four elemental metals with a natural color other than gray or silver.
Pure copper is orange-red and acquires a reddish tarnish when exposed to air.
The characteristic color of copper results from the electronic transitions
between the filled 3d and half-empty 4s atomic shells the energy difference

between these shells is such that it corresponds to orange light. The same
mechanism accounts for the yellow color of gold and caesium.

Copper does not react with water but it does slowly react with atmospheric
oxygen to form a layer of brownblack copper oxide which, unlike the rust which
forms when iron is exposed to moist air, protects the underlying copper from
more extensive corrosion. A green layer of verdigris (copper carbonate) can
often be seen on old copper constructions such as the Statue of Liberty. Copper
tarnishes when exposed to sulfides, which react with it to form various copper

There are 29 isotopes of copper. 63Cu and 65Cu are stable, with 63Cu
comprising approximately 69% of naturally occurring copper; they both have a
spin of 3 2. The other isotopes are radioactive, with the most stable being
67Cu with a half-life of 61.83 hours. Seven metastable isotopes have been
characterized, with 68mCu the longest-lived with a half-life of 3.8 minutes.
Isotopes with a mass number above 64 decay by , whereas those with a
mass number below 64 decay by + . 64Cu, which has a half-life of 12.7 hours,
decays both ways. 62Cu and 64Cu have significant applications. 64Cu is a
radiocontrast agent for X-ray imaging, and complexed with a chelate can be
used for treating cancer. 62Cu is used in 62Cu-PTSM that is a radioactive tracer
for positron emission tomography.


Copper is synthesized in massive stars and is present in the Earths crust at a

concentration of about 50 parts per million (ppm), where it occurs as native
copper or in minerals such as the copper sulfides chalcopyrite and chalcocite,
the copper carbonates azurite and malachite, and the copper(I) oxide mineral
cuprite. The largest mass of elemental copper discovered weighed 420 tonnes
and was found in 1857 on the Keweenaw Peninsula in Michigan, US. Native
copper is a polycrystal, with the largest described single crystal measuring cm.

Uses of Copper

Architectural Applications

Copper is heavily employed in the construction industry. It is commonly

found in buildings because it is waterproof. This makes it suitable for
cladding, roofing and plumbing. It is also applied in freestanding
structures because of its light weight and durability. Lightning rods and
roofs are often built of copper.

As a lightning rod they help divert natural lightning from striking the
edifice. It is redirected to the ground. Copper based welding arcs are
made by soldering the metal. The same method is used for building

Industrial Applications
The metals high ductility makes it a practical tool for industrial use. It is
the third most widely used metal in industries next to aluminum and iron.
It is commonly used in shipbuilding. The metal is alloyed with nickel.
As cupronickel, it can withstand corrosion. Its high heat dissipation is the
reason why Watts steam engine firebox is made from it. Liquefied,
copper becomes a wood preservative. It assists in returning a structure to
its original form. Objects can be restored even if they are subject to rot.
Uses of Copper in Electricity
More than half of the copper produced is for electricity. Its core functions
are transmission of electricity and power generation. The metal is
employed in generators, bushbars, motors and transformers. Properly set
the metal produces electricity efficiently and safely. The metal is also
used in wiring and electrical equipment. It is present in mobile phones,
TV and computers.
Copper is present in electric circuitry and microprocessors. It is also
applied for electrical transmission. It is superior to aluminum. The metal
is utilized in heat sinks and exchanges. Its heat dissipation capacity is
superior to aluminum. The metallic element is used to build magnetron,
vacuum tubes and vacuum tubes.
Application in Transportation
The element is used in construction of trains, cars, lorries and other
vehicles. Battery currents use high purity copper wire harness systems.
The current is transmitted to satellite navigation systems, on-board
computers, central locking and lights. Electric supper trams built from
this material reduces the pollution that transportation usually produces.
The same metal is applied in overhead contact wiring.
Practical Daily Application of Copper
The metallic element is applied in fixtures, doorknobs and other elements
in a house. Copper electroplated nickel silver is used for some knives,
spoons, knives and frying pans. The same material is used for counters,
sinks, bathtubs, and heating cylinders. As pigmented salt the metal can
be used for sculptures, statues and decorative art.
Biological Applications
Other uses of copper include being a nutrient for animals and plants.
Traces of the metal can be found in bone, muscles, liver and tissues. The
main purpose of copper in an organism is serving as an enzyme co-factor.
This knowledge isnt new. The ancients were aware of its antibacterial
properties. The Greeks used the metal to cure ulcers and open wounds.

Modern medicine applies copper bracelets to reduce arthritis and joint

pains. Its anti-microbial elements assist in producing hygienic surfaces in
healthcare institutions. Lack of copper in people may produce shaggy
skin, varicose veins and graying of the hair. This metallic element can
help in enhancing the skins elastic fiber. With enough copper, hair
problems may be avoided.

Products of Copper

1) Copper Tubes
2) Copper Sheets
3) Copper Strips
4) Extruded and Drawn Copper Brass
5) Copper Coil
6) Copper Plate
7) Copper Bar
8) Copper Flats
9) Copper Wires
Copper Rods

Routes of Exposition

Copper can be found in many kinds of food, in drinking water and in air.
Because of that we absorb eminent quantities of copper each day by
eating, drinking and breathing. The absorption of copper is necessary,
because copper is a trace element that is essential for human health.
Although humans can handle proportionally large concentrations of
copper, too much copper can still cause eminent health problems.
Copper concentrations in air are usually quite low, so that exposure to
copper through breathing is negligible. But people that live near smelters
that process copper ore into metal, do experience this kind of exposure.
People that live in houses that still have copper plumbing are exposed to
higher levels of copper than most people, because copper is released into
their drinking water through corrosion of pipes.
Occupational exposure to copper often occurs. In the working
environment, copper contagion can lead to a flu-like condition known as
metal fever. This condition will pass after two days and is caused by over

Effects of Copper
Health Effects of Copper
Long-term exposure to copper can cause irritation of the nose, mouth and
eyes and it causes headaches, stomachaches, dizziness, vomiting and
diarrhea. Intentionally high uptakes of copper may cause liver and kidney
damage and even death. Whether copper is carcinogenic has not been
determined yet.

There are scientific articles that indicate a link between long-term

exposure to high concentrations of copper and a decline in intelligence
with young adolescents. Whether this should be of concern is a topic for
further investigation.
Industrial exposure to copper fumes, dusts, or mists may result in metal
fume fever with atrophic changes in nasal mucous membranes. Chronic
copper poisoning results in Wilsons Disease, characterized by a hepatic
cirrhosis, brain damage, demyelization, renal disease, and copper
deposition in the cornea.
Environmental Effects of Copper
When copper ends up in soil it strongly attaches to organic matter and
minerals. As a result it does not travel very far after release and it hardly
ever enters groundwater. In surface water copper can travel great
distances, either suspended on sludge particles or as free ions.
Copper does not break down in the environment and because of that it
can accumulate in plants and animals when it is found in soils. On
copper-rich soils only a limited number of plants has a chance of survival.
That is why there is not much plant diversity near copper-disposing
factories. Due to the effects upon plants copper is a serious threat to the
productions of farmlands. Copper can seriously influence the proceedings
of certain farmlands, depending upon the acidity of the soil and the
presence of organic matter. Despite of this, copper-containing manures
are still applied.
Copper can interrupt the activity in soils, as it negatively influences the
activity of microorganisms and earthworms. The decomposition of
organic matter may seriously slow down because of this.
When the soils of farmland are polluted with copper, animals will absorb
concentrations that are damaging to their health. Mainly sheep suffer a
great deal from copper poisoning, because the effects of copper are
manifesting at fairly low concentrations.

Raw Materials
Pure copper is rarely found in nature, but is usually combined with other
chemicals in the form of copper ores. There are about 15 copper ores mined
commercially in 40 countries around the world. The most common are known as
sulfide ores in which the copper is chemically bonded with sulfur. Others are
known as oxide ores, carbonate ores, or mixed ores depending on the chemicals
present. Many copper ores also contain significant quantities of gold, silver,
nickel, and other valuable metals, as well as large quantities of commercially
useless material. Most of the copper ores mined in the United States contain
only about 1.2-1.6% copper by weight.
The most common sulfide ore is chalcopyrite, CuFeS 2 , also known as copper
pyrite or yellow copper ore. Chalcocite, Cu 2 S, is another sulfide ore.

Cuprite, or red copper ore, Cu 2 O, is an oxide ore. Malachite, or green copper

ore, Cu(OH) 2 CuCO 3 , is an important carbonate ore, as is azurite, or blue
copper carbonate, Cu(OH) 2 2CuCO 3 .
Other ores include tennantite, boronite, chrysocolla, and atacamite.
In addition to the ores themselves, several other chemicals are often used to
process and refine copper. These include sulfuric acid, oxygen, iron, silica, and
various organic compounds, depending on the process used.

The Manufacturing Process

The process of extracting copper from copper ore varies according to the type
of ore and the desired purity of the final product. Each process consists of
several steps in which unwanted materials are physically or chemically
removed, and the concentration of copper is progressively increased. Some of
these steps are conducted at the mine site itself, while others may be
conducted at separate facilities.
Here are the steps used to process the sulfide ores commonly found in the
western United States.
1) Mining
Most sulfide ores are taken from huge open-pit mines by drilling and blasting
with explosives. In this type of mining, the material located above the ore,
called the overburden, is first removed to expose the buried ore deposit. This
produces an open pit that may grow to be a mile or more across. A road to allow
access for equipment spirals down the interior slopes of the pit.
The exposed ore is scooped up by large power shovels capable of loading 500900 cubic feet (15-25 cubic meters) in a single bite. The ore is loaded into giant
dump trucks, called haul trucks, and is transported up and out of the pit.
2) Concentrating
The copper ore usually contains a large amount of dirt, clay, and a
variety of non-copper bearing minerals. The first step is to remove
some of this waste material. This process is called concentrating and
is usually done by the flotation method.
The ore is crushed in a series of cone crushers. A cone crusher consists of an

interior grinding cone that rotates on an eccentric vertical axis inside a fixed

outer cone. As the ore is fed into the top of the crusher, it is squeezed between
the two cones and broken into smaller pieces.
The crushed ore is then ground even smaller by a series of mills. First, it is

mixed with water and placed in a rod mill, which consists of a large cylindrical
container filled with numerous short lengths of steel rod. As the cylinder rotates
on its horizontal axis, the steel rods tumble and break up the ore into pieces
about 0.13 in (3 mm) in diameter. The mixture of ore and water is further
broken up in two ball mills, which are like a rod mill except steel balls are used
instead of rods. The slurry of finely ground ore that emerges from the final ball
mill contains particles about 0.01 in (0.25 mm) in diameter.
The slurry is mixed with various chemical reagents, which coat the copper

particles. A liquid, called a frother, is also added. Pine oil or long-chain alcohol
are often used as frothers. This mixture is pumped into rectangular tanks, called
flotation cells, where air is injected into the slurry through the bottom of the
tanks. The chemical reagents make the copper particles cling to the bubbles as
they rise to the surface. The frother forms a thick layer of bubbles, which
overflows the tanks and is collected in troughs. The bubbles are allowed to
condense and the water is drained off. The resulting mixture, called a copper
concentrate, contains about 25-35% copper along with various sulfides of
copper and iron, plus smaller concentrations of gold, silver, and other materials.
The remaining materials in the tank are called the gangue or tailings. They are
pumped into settling ponds and allowed to dry.

The process of extracting copper from copper ore varies according to the type
of ore and the desired purity of the final product. Each process consists of
several steps in which unwanted materials are physically or chemically
removed, and the concentration of copper is progressively increased.
3) Smelting
Once the waste materials have been physically removed from the ore,
the remaining copper concentrate must undergo several chemical
reactions to remove the iron and sulfur. This process is called smelting
and traditionally involves two furnaces as described below. Some








The copper concentrate is fed into a furnace along with a silica material, called

a flux. Most copper smelters utilize oxygen-enriched flash furnaces in which

preheated, oxygen-enriched air is forced into the furnace to combust with fuel
oil. The copper concentrate and flux melt, and collect in the bottom of the

furnace. Much of the iron in the concentrate chemically combines with the flux
to form a slag, which is skimmed off the surface of the molten material. Much of
the sulfur in the concentrate combines with the oxygen to form sulfur dioxide,
which is exhausted from the furnace as a gas and is further treated in an acid
plant to produce sulfuric acid. The remaining molten material in the bottom of
the furnace is called the matte. It is a mixture of copper sulfides and iron
sulfides and contains about 60% copper by weight.
The molten matte is drawn from the furnace and poured into a second furnace

called a converter. Additional silica flux is added and oxygen is blown through
the molten material. The chemical reactions in the converter are similar to
those in the flash furnace. The silica flux reacts with the remaining iron to form
a slag, and the oxygen reacts with the remaining sulfur to form sulfur dioxide.
The slag may be fed back into the flash furnace to act as a flux, and the sulfur
dioxide is processed through the acid plant. After the slag is removed, a final
injection of oxygen removes all but a trace of sulfur. The resulting molten
material is called the blister and contains about 99% copper by weight.
4) Refining
Even though copper blister is 99% pure copper, it still contains high
enough levels of sulfur, oxygen, and other impurities to hamper
further refining. To remove or adjust the levels of these materials, the
blister copper is first fire refined before it is sent to the final
electrorefining process.
The blister copper is heated in a refining furnace, which is similar to a converter

described above. Air is blown into the molten blister to oxidize some impurities.
A sodium carbonate flux may be added to remove traces of arsenic and
antimony. A sample of the molten material is drawn and an experienced
operator determines when the impurities have reached an acceptable level. The
molten copper, which is about 99.5% pure, is then poured into molds to form



electrorefining process.









Each copper anode is placed in an individual tank, or cell, made of polymer-

concrete. There may be as many as 1,250 tanks in operation at one time. A

sheet of copper is placed on the opposite end of the tank to act as the cathode,
or negative terminal. The tanks are filled with an acidic copper sulfate solution,
which acts as an electrical conductor between the anode and cathode. When an
electrical current is passed through each tank, the copper is stripped off the
anode and is deposited on the cathode. Most of the remaining impurities fall out
of the copper sulfate solution and form a slime at the bottom of the tank. After
about 9-15 days, the current is turned off and the cathodes are removed. The
cathodes now weigh about 300 lb (136 kg) and are 99.95-99.99% pure copper.
The slime that collects at the bottom of the tank contains gold, silver, selenium,

and tellurium. It is collected and processed to recover these precious metals.

5) Casting
After refining, the copper cathodes are melted and cast into ingots, cakes,

billets, or rods depending on the final application. Ingots are rectangular or

trapezoidal bricks, which are remelted along with other metals to make brass
and bronze products. Cakes are rectangular slabs about 8 in (20 cm) thick and
up to 28 ft (8.5 m) long. They are rolled to make copper plate, strip, sheet, and
foil products. Billets are cylindrical logs about 8 in (20 cm) in diameter and
several feet (meters) long. They are extruded or drawn to make copper tubing
and pipe. Rods have a round cross-section about 0.5 in (1.3 cm) in diameter.
They are usually cast into very long lengths, which are coiled. This coiled
material is then drawn down further to make copper wire.


Because electrical applications require a very low level of impurities, copper is

one of the few common metals that are refined to almost 100% purity. The
process described above has been proven to produce copper of very high purity.
To ensure this purity, samples are analyzed at various steps to determine
whether any adjustment to the process is required.

Byproducts /Waste

The recovery of sulfuric acid from the copper smelting process not only provides
a profitable byproduct, but also significantly reduces the air pollution caused by
the furnace exhaust. Gold, silver, and other precious metals are also important
Waste products include the overburden from the mining operation, the tailings
from the concentrating operation, and the slag from the smelting operation.
This waste may contain significant concentrations of arsenic, lead, and other
chemicals, which pose a potential health hazard to the surrounding area. In the
United States, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates the storage
of such wastes and the remediation of the area once mining and processing
operations have ceased. The sheer volume of the material involvedin some
cases, billions of tons of wastemakes this a formidable task, but it also
presents some potentially profitable opportunities to recover the useable
materials contained in this waste.

Chile accounts for over one third of world's copper production followed by
China, Peru, United States, Australia, Indonesia, Zambia, Canada and Poland.
Major exporters of copper ores and concentrates are Chile, Peru, Indonesia,
Australia , Canada, Brazil, Kazakhstan, United States, Argentina and Mongolia.
The biggest importers of copper are China, Japan, India, South Korea and
Germany. Copper market participants use the COMEX Division of high-grade
copper futures and options to mitigate price risk. Copper is the world's third
most widely used metal, after iron and aluminum, and is primarily used in highly
cyclical industries such as construction and industrial machinery manufacturing.
Profitable extraction of the metal depends on cost-efficient high-volume mining
techniques, and supply is sensitive to the political situation particularly in those
countries where copper mining is a government-controlled enterprise.

Copper Production by Country (Metric Tons)

(Source: ICSG)

Most copper is mined or extracted as copper sulfides from large open pit mines
in porphyry copper deposits that contain 0.4 to 1.0% copper. Examples include
Chuquicamata in Chile, Bingham Canyon Mine in Utah, United States and El
Chino Mine in New Mexico, United States. According to the British Geological
Survey, in 2005, Chile was the top mine producer of copper with at least onethird world share followed by the United States, Indonesia and Peru. Copper can
also be recovered through the In-situ leach process. Several sites in the state of
Arizona are considered prime candidates for this method. The amount of copper

in use is increasing and the quantity available is barely sufficient to allow all
countries to reach developed world levels of usage.

Production and Distribution in India

India is not very lucky regarding reserves and production of copper. Her total
reserves in situ are estimated at about 712.5 million tonnes equivalent to 9.4
million tonnes of metal content. Major copper ore deposits are located in
Singhbhum district (Jharkhand), Balghat district (Madhya Pradesh) and
Jhunjhunu and Alwar districts (Rajasthan). In addition, there are small deposits
in Gujarat, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Sikkim, Meghalaya,
Maharashtra and West Bengal.
Table shows that there had been gradual increase in production for two
decades between 1950-51 and 1970-71. A steep rise in production was
recorded after 1970-71 and it stood at a record high of 5,255 thousand tonnes
in 1990-91.
Thereafter, a downward trend was observed and the production fell to 3,896
thousand tonnes in 1996-97. A landslide fall in production was recorded after
1996-97 and there was a drastic fall in production in 1997-98 when it was 223
thousand tonnes only. Since 1997-98, the production remained at a very low
level and stood at 153 thousand tonnes only in 2002-03. Table 25.8 narrates the
tragic story of downfall of copper production in India.

Trends in Production of Copper in India


Quantity (000'

Value (Rs.







Distribution of Copper in India (2002-2003)


All India

n (lakh

of all India

Value in
Rs. crore






Madhya Pradesh
Madhya Pradesh has become the largest producer of copper in India surpassing
Karnataka, Rajasthan and Jharkhand in succession. In the year 2002-03 the
state produced 56.86 per cent of the total copper production of the country.
The state is blessed with a fairly large belt in Taregaon area, in Malanjkhand belt
of Balaghat district. This district has recoverable reserve of 84.83 million tonnes
of copper ore having 1,006 thousand tonnes of metal. Reserves of moderate

size are also found in Kherlibazar- Bargaon area of Betul district. Some other
areas are also reported to have copper ore reserves.
Rajasthan has also progressed a lot with respect to production of copper and is
now the second largest producing state in India accounting for over 40 per cent
of the total production of the country. Most of the copper reserves are found
along the Aravali range.
A total of recoverable reserve in the state, spread over the districts of Ajmer,
Alwar, Bhilwara, Chittaurgarh, Dungarpur, Jaipur, Jhunjhunu, Pali, Sikar, Sirohi
and Udaipur are estimated at 65.08 million tonnes from which 613.55 thousand
tonnes of metal is expected to be obtained.
The Khetri-Singhana belt in Jhunjhunu district is the most important copper
producing area. This belt runs in north-east to south-west direction over a
distance of 80 km from Singhana to Raghunathgarh with average width varying
from 3 to 5 km.
The annual output of copper ore at Khetri is 1.8 million tonnes yielding around
16,000 tonnes of metal. The Kho-Dariba area about 48 km to the south-west of
the Alwar city and Delwara-Kirovli area about 30 km from Udaipur are other
important producers. In Kishangarh area of Ajmer district, 2.5 million tonnes of
copper ore, having 0.60 per cent copper, have tentatively been estimated.
Jharkhand, earlier a part of Bihar used to be the largest producer of copper till
early 1980s but it has lost much importance and has slipped to third position,
partly due to fall in its own production and mainly due to increased production
of other states. The state s share of copper ore production has fallen from 62
per cent of the nations total production in 1977-78 to a desperate 23 per cent
in 2002-03.
The main copper belt extends over a distance of 130 km. Singhbhum is the
most important copper producing district where Rakha, Kendadih, Surda,
Dhobani, Mosabani and some other areas have proved reserves of 58.044
million tonnes from which 1,480.12 thousand tonnes of metal may be
recovered. Hasatu, Baraganda, Jaradih, Parasnath, Barkanath, etc. in
Hazaribagh district; Bairakhi in Santhal Parganas area and some parts of Palamu
and Gaya districts are also reported to have some deposits of copper ore.

Copper Plants in India

1) Chilpi Series: It stretches over parts of Balaghat, and Chhindwara
districts of Madhya Pradesh. The series consists of quartzite, copperpyrite, mica schist, and marble. The copper obtained from this series is
used in the Malanjkhand Copper Plant.

2) Ghatsila: Located in Jharkhand, it is a copper smelting plant. It is an

electrolytic refinery. It manufactures brass sheets. It also obtains gold,
silver, and nickel in the processing of copper.
3) Khetri: It is an integrated copper mining-cum-ore refining plant in the
Jhunjhunu District of Rajasthan. It was established in 1967. It also obtains
copper ore from the Malanjkhand copper mines of Madhya Pradesh. It
also has a sulphuric acid plant, and a fertiliser plant.
4) Korba: Bharat Aluminium Company Limited (BALCO) has an aluminium
plant located at Korba, Bilaspur District of Chhattisgarh. It obtains bauxite
deposits from the Amarkantak region and electricity from the Korba
Thermal Power Plant. The government has disinvested its share to a
private company, Sterlite.
5) Malanjkhand: It is an open cast copper mine in Balaghat District of
Madhya Pradesh. A copper plant has been established at Malanjkhand.
The copper ore is also sent to the Khetri Copper Plant of Rajasthan.
6) Rakha Project: The Rakha copper Plant is located in the Rakha District
of Singhbhum of Jharkhand. It obtains copper ore from the mines of
7) Tajola: The Tajola Copper Plant is located in the Raigadh town in
Maharashtra. The plant has imported copper cathodes. It manufactures
copper rods.


Copper has been in use at least 10,000 years, but more than 96% of all copper
ever mined and smelted has been extracted since 1900, and more than half
was extracted in only the last 24 years. As with many natural resources, the
total amount of copper on Earth is vast (around 1014 tons just in the top
kilometre of Earths crust, or about 5 million years worth at the current rate of
extraction). However, only a tiny fraction of these reserves is economically
viable, given present-day prices and technologies. Various estimates of existing
copper reserves available for mining vary from 25 years to 60 years, depending
on core assumptions such as the growth rate. Recycling is a major source of
copper in the modern world. Because of these and other factors, the future of
copper production and supply is the subject of much debate, including the
concept of peak copper, analogous to peak oil. The price of copper has
historically been unstable, and it sextupled from the 60-year low of US$0.60/lb
(US$1.32/kg) in June 1999 to US$3.75 per pound (US$8.27/kg) in May 2006. It
dropped to US$2.40/lb (US$5.29/kg) in February 2007, then rebounded to
US$3.50/lb (US$7.71/kg) in April 2007. In February 2009, weakening global
demand and a steep fall in commodity prices since the previous years highs
left copper prices at US$1.51/lb.

Month on Month Returns of Copper

Trends in World Refined Stocks & Prices

(Source: ICSG)

India Exports of Copper

India Imports of Copper

Top 10 Copper Producing Companies in World

1. Codelco
Production: 1.84 million tonnes
Codelco increased its copper production in 2014 to 1.84 million tonnes. In 2013,
the company produced 1.79 million tonnes. The state-owned Chilean company
is the worlds biggest copper producer. This growth has led the company to
expect oversupply in 2015, at which time it will begin to slow down its
shipments, according to a Bloomberg article from last November.
We cannot continue selling the same amount, as we have less, Rodrigo Toro,
corporate sales vice president for Codelco, said in an interview. Not only to
China, not only to Asia. We are selling less to the world.

Still, the miner remains the largest in the world, and despite troubles with falling
grades, there have been reports suggesting that Codelcos Ministro Hales mine
in Chile will open soon.

2. Freeport-McMoRan (NYSE:FCX)
Production: 1.47 million tonnes
Freeport-McMoRan saw a dip in its copper production in 2014, producing 1.47
million tonnes compared to 1.535 million tonnes in 2013. The company is based
in Phoenix, Arizona.
One of the companys assets is the Grasberg minerals district in Indonesia,
which is one of the largest copper deposits on the globe. Grasberg exported less
material last year due to a concentrate export ban in Indonesia, and has also
had to temporarily halt production this year due to worker protests.
3. Glencore (LSE:GLEN)
Production: 1.296 million tonnes
A major diversified miner, Glencore produced 1.296 million tonnes of copper in
2014, an increase over 2013s total of 1.26 million tonnes. According to a press
release the company issued in February of this year, the increase in copper
production was largely due to the ramp up of Mutanda, one of its more recently
developed sites.
Production: 1.203 million tonnes
BHP Billiton saw a dip in production from 2013 to 2014, producing 1.205 million
tonnes during the former and 1.203 million tonnes during the latter. The
Australia-based producer had plans to improve production in 2015, but saw
problems earlier this year at its Olympic Dam operation in Australia, forcing it
to cut its production forecast by 60,000 to 70,000 tonnes.
5. Southern Copper (NYSE:SCCO)
Production: 665,000 tonnes
Southern Copper saw a gain in its copper production, putting out 635,000
tonnes in 2013 and 665,000 tonnes in 2014. The company, which is over 85percent owned by Grupo Mexico, saw higher production at its Mexican
operations specifically the Buenavista mine as well as improvements at its
Peruvian operations.
The company believes it has the largest copper reserves in the industry.
However, Southern Copper and Grupo Mexico got some bad press for
environmental troubles at Buenavista mne this year a toxic leak at the mine

contaminated the Bacanuchi and Sonora rivers in Northern Mexico, turning

waters orange.
Production: 636,000 tonnes
Rio Tinto produced 636,000 tonnes of copper in 2014, an increase over the
587,000 tonnes it produced in 2013. One of the largest diversified mining
companies in the world behind BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto got some good news
regarding its Oyu Tolgoi mine in Mongolia this May: after two years of setbacks
due to disagreements over the project with the Mongolian government, the two
parties came to an agreement to move it forward.
7. KGHM Polska Miedz (WSE:KGH)
Production: 506,000 tonnes
Polands KGHM has operations in Europe, North America and South America,
and says that it holds over 37.5 million tonnes of copper ore resources
worldwide. In 2014, the company produced 506,000 tonnes of copper compared
to 531,000 tonnes in 2013.
Despite this decrease, the company is certain its production will continue to
grow, increasing its ranking as one of the worlds top copper-producing
companies. In January of this year, the company released an announcement
highlighting its commitment to shifting its strategy.
8. Anglo American (LSE:AAL)
Production: 504,000 tonnes
Like many companies on this list, Anglo American produced less copper in 2013
than it did in 2014 516,000 tonnes and 504,000 tonnes, respectively.
Anglo has already said that its Q1 2015 production was lower compared to the
same period in 2015 (from 202,000 tonnes vs. 171,800 tonnes). The decrease
was largely due to the fact that the company took one of its Los Bronces
processing plants offline to manage water reserve levels.
9. Antofagasta (LSE:ANTO)
Production: 455,000 tonnes
Chilean copper mining company Antofagasta produced 455,000 tonnes of
copper in 2014, a decrease from 2013s total of 466,000 tonnes. However,
according to a 2014 annual report released by the company, the loss was
expected as the group focused on reducing costs and positioning itself for longterm growth.
The completion of the concentrator expansion at Centinela in 2015 will
increase production there, and in our two mining districts we were advancing

our Encuentro Oxides, Pelambres Incremental Expansion, and Centinela Second

Concentrator projects, Chairman Jean-Paul Lukasic said. With these
advancements currently underway, the company expects to see considerable
growth in copper production in coming years.
10. First Quantum Minerals (TSX:FM)
Production: 380,000 tonnes
Rounding out the list of 2014s 10 top producers is First Quantum Minerals. The
company saw a bit of an increase in production from 2013 to 2014, producing
381,000 tonnes in 2013 and 380,000 last year.
That said, First Quantum experienced several setbacks in production throughout
the year, including the suspension of operations at its Guelb Moghrein coppergold mine in Mauritania due to strike action takenby some unionized employees
in September. However, the company also acquired Lumina Copper(TSXV:LCC)
and that companys Taca Taca project in Argentina.

Top four companies in Copper industry in India

The names of some of the top producers of copper in the nation are given
Sterlite Industries Limited
Hindustan Copper Limited
Hindalco Industries Limited
Jhagadia Copper Limited
Some of the details regarding these top four copper producers in the nation are
given below:
Sterlite Industries Limited:
Sterlite Industries Limited is the countrys largest non-ferrous mining and metal
company with the stats of one of the developing companies in the private
sector in the nation. The stocks of this company are listed in the National and
Bombay Stock Exchanges and it holds the pride of being the first mining &
metal company in the nation to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange. They
are primarily engaged in commercial energy, lead, zine, aluminum and of
course copper business. Their main product list include copper cathode and
they have a copper mine in Australia, which is operated through their group
Hindustan Copper Limited:

Hindustan Copper Limited is a Government of India enterprise that came into

existence in the year 1967. The company holds the pride of being the countrys
only integrated copper producing company encompassing casting, refining,
smelting, beneficiation and mining of refined copper metal. They have copper
plants in the states like Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and
Jharkhand. Their main product list includes copper concentrate, copper cathode
and continuous cast copper rod, while by products include copper sulphate
among others.
Hindalco Industries Limited:
Hindalco Industries Limited is a group company of the Aditya Birla Group and
the company came into existence in the year 1958. They are leaders in the
copper industry through their copper unit called Birla Copper, which produces
cast copper rods, copper cathodes and other by-products like DAP fertilizers,
silver and gold. Their copper unit is located in the city of Dahej in the state of
Gujarat and it holds the pride of being the largest single-location copper smelter
in the world. The smelter has a capacity of nearly 5,00,000 tpa and it uses
state-of-the-art technology.
Jhagadia Copper Limited:
Jhagadia Copper Limited is the largest manufacturer of LME Grade A copper
cathodes with the help of secondary smelting route in the nation. The company
was established in technical collaboration with Outokumpu Technology AB of
Sweden. The company uses top blown rotary converter as its main furnace with
a view to get flexibility in the handling of raw materials. Their copper plant
capacity is 50,000 MT per annum of copper cathodes. It is an ISO 9001:2000,
ISO 14001:2004 and OHSS 18001:1999 certified company awarded for
occupational health & safety management system standards, environmental
management system standards and quality management system standards.
Thus, these companies contribute a great share towards the development of
copper production in the nation.


Market Forecast 2015-16 (Source: ICSG)

In developing its global market balance, ICSG uses an apparent demand
calculation for China, the leading global consumer of copper, accounting for
about 45% of world demand. Apparent copper demand for China is based only
on reported data (production + net trade +/- SHFE stock changes) and does not
take into account changes in unreported stocks [State Reserve Bureau (SRB),
producer, consumer and merchant/trader], which can be significant during
periods of stocking or de-stocking and which can markedly alter global supplydemand balances.
ICSG projections for 2015 indicate that the market should essentially remain
balanced, while in 2016 ICSG forecasts a small deficit of around 130,000 metric
tonnes (t) as demand growth outpaces production growth. This compares with a
surplus of 360,000 t and 230,000 t for 2015 and 2016, respectively, forecast at
our April 2015 meeting. The revisions reflect substantial changes in market
conditions since April 2015. Although a downward revision has been made to
global usage in view of lower than anticipated growth in China, larger downward
adjustments have been made to production as a result of recent
announcements of production cuts.
In developing its projections, ICSG recognizes that global market balances can
vary from those projected owing to numerous factors that could alter
projections for both production and usage. In this context it can be noted that
actual market balance outcomes have on recent occasions deviated
significantly from ICSG market balance forecasts due to unforeseen
developments. World mine production after adjusting for historical disruption
factors is expected to increase by around 1.2% in 2015 (a similar growth to
2014) to reach 18.8 Mt (million tonnes). Despite announced production cuts,
higher growth of around 4% is expected in 2016 as additional supply is
expected to arise from expansions at existing operations, ramp-up in production
from mines that have recently come on stream and output from a few new mine
projects. Growth in 2015 and 2016 is expected to be in the form of copper in
concentrate as SX-EW production is envisaged to decline mainly due to the
announced production cuts being almost entirely at SX-EW mines.
After increasing by almost 7% in 2014, world refined copper production in 2015
is expected to increase by only 1% year-on-year to 22.7 Mt. Growth of around
7% in China will be partially offset by a decline in production in Chile, Japan and
the United States, the second, third and fourth leading refined copper
producers. Primary refined production (excluding SX-EW) and secondary
production are expected to grow by around 2% each, while SX-EW output is
anticipated to decline by 4%. In 2016, world refined copper production is
expected to grow by around 2.5% to 23.2 Mt, as larger growth of 4% in primary
electrolytic production will be partially offset by a further 4% decline in SX-EW
Following growth of around 7% in 2014, ICSG expects world apparent refined
usage in 2015 to decline by 1.2%. This is mainly because apparent demand in

China is expected to remain essentially flat, although underlying real demand

growth in China is estimated by others at around 3-4% (lower than the 4.5-5%
anticipated growth in April). On the other hand, usage in the rest of the world is
expected to decline by 1.5%. For 2016, the growth in world apparent refined
usage is expected at around 3% with underlying Chinese industrial demand
growth expected at around 4%. Usage in the rest of the world is expected to
increase by about 2%.