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The global copper mining market size was valued at USD 8.44 billion in 2022. The market is projected to grow from USD 8.87 billion in 2023 to USD 11.17 billion by 2030, exhibiting a CAGR of 3.3% during the forecast period.
Copper is generally mined in composite ore, known as copper oxide ore and copper sulfide. The sulfide concentrates are smelted in furnaces to produce matte, which must be transformed and refined to produce anode copper. Finally, the finished product is made through the electrolysis refining process. Copper is a necessary component of so many products that the amount of copper we consume is a good indicator of any country's economy. Copper consumption is growing with the country's economy.
Copper ores go through various stages of separation and processes to produce pure copper. In addition, based on the mining technique, the mining of copper is usually done by open pit mining, where a series of step benches are dug deeper and deeper into the earth. Then, blunt machines are used to bore holes in the hard rock, and explosives are inserted into the boreholes to blast and fracture the rock to remove the ore. Underground mining is used when the copper ore is not near the earth's surface. Miners dig a shaft into the ore deposit vertically or in a horizontal tunnel to do this.
COVID-19 Caused Significant Disruption to the Copper Mining Market Growth
The COVID-19 pandemic declined the market growth, and ongoing mining projects were also delayed due to government regulations. For context, building new infrastructures, such as 5G networks and electric vehicle charging stations, were postponed due to COVID-19. Additionally, demand for copper was poorly affected as industries were becoming economically weak due to the stoppage of business activity, which hampered the copper mining market growth. For instance, COVID-19 was discovered in China, the world's largest consumer of copper, due to which the demand and supply chain was disrupted as the worldwide shutdown of import and export was imposed.
In 2022, prices of technological materials, energy, fuels, and services increased significantly, influencing the level of costs generated by the companies. On the other hand, the uncertainty about the future global economic situation resulted in the weakening of the USD and increase in USD-denominated copper prices, translating into an increase in revenues from sales.
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Government Investments in Infrastructure and Renewables will Create Market Opportunities
Government policies, regulations, and taxation frameworks can significantly impact the mining industry. Political stability, legal frameworks, mining codes, and fiscal policies affect investment attractiveness, licensing, and permitting processes.
Copper is essential for constructing infrastructure projects such as buildings, bridges, and electrical systems. Hence, government initiatives and policies promoting infrastructure development can significantly boost the market.
The mining industry, mainly of copper, will likely increase significantly due to increased investment in construction and construction projects. For example, over 100 smart city projects are underway worldwide, creating tremendous opportunities for the construction industry. Rapid urbanization in emerging economies and ongoing construction projects worldwide lead to increased copper consumption.
Furthermore, copper is also widely used in renewable energy infrastructure and EVs to build electrical wiring, transformers, batteries, and charging infrastructure, and the regulation related to the adoption of renewable energy and EVs will also push the demand for mining of copper.
Demand for Copper due to Economic Growth and Technological Advancement is Likely to Push the Market
The primary driver of this industry is the demand for copper as a raw material in various sectors, including construction, infrastructure development, electrical and electronics, transportation, and manufacturing. Furthermore, increasing population, urbanization, and industrialization in developing countries have increased copper demand.
The overall economies of countries and regions significantly impact the mining industry as there is a higher need for copper in infrastructure projects, power generation, and manufacturing activities. Moreover, the development of infrastructure projects such as power grids, telecommunications networks, transportation systems, and urban development rely on copper for electrical wiring, plumbing, and various construction grades, which will likely boost the market growth.
Global refined copper production increased by 1% from 24.5 million tons (20.7 million tons from primary sources and 3.8% from secondary sources) in 2020 to 24.9 million tons of refined copper (20.8 million tons from primary sources and 4.1 million tons from secondary sources) in 2021.
Focus on Decarbonization and Adoption of Clean Energy will Drive the Market Growth
The growing focus on clean energy sources and the transition toward renewable energy technologies require substantial amounts of copper. Wind, solar, hydropower installations, and electric vehicles rely heavily on copper for efficient energy transmission and storage. Moreover, governments are replacing hydrocarbons from renewable power sources to achieve their commitment to electrification, which will play a critical role in helping mining companies respond to these challenges.
Additionally, copper is an excellent conductor of electricity and heat, making it indispensable for electrical wiring and circuitry; therefore, the increasing use of renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind, drives the market growth.
Environmental Impact Coupled with Workforce-Related Issue is Likely to Hinder the Market Growth
Copper mining operations can have social and environmental impacts, particularly when they are located in or near populated areas. Local communities may experience disruptions such as displacement, loss of livelihoods, or conflicts over land and resource rights. Furthermore, workforce issues and safety-like effects of occupational exposures to hazardous substances and accidents that cause injury, illness, and death to workers hinder the market growth. Moreover, the extraction and processing of copper ores can have significant environmental impacts, such as soil erosion, deforestation, habitat destruction, and water pollution. Additionally, mining of copper often occurs in regions with limited water resources, which can strain local water supplies and impact surrounding ecosystems as the extraction and processing of copper require significant amounts of water.
Consequently, there is a growing emphasis on sustainable mining practices and environmental regulations that mining companies must comply with. Mining companies and industry stakeholders continually work to address these constraints through technological advancements, improved sustainability practices, community engagement, and strategic planning. However, overcoming these challenges require collaboration between industry, governments, and local communities to ensure responsible and sustainable mining practices.
Open Pit Mining Dominated the Market Owing to their Cost Effectiveness for Larger Scale Copper Extraction
The market is segmented into open-pit mining and underground mining based on process. Open pit mining, also known as surface mining, is the most prevalent sort of mining, which involves removing the top layer of the ground to gain access to the minerals beneath. Mining of copper is usually done by open pit mining, where a series of step benches are dug deeper and deeper into the earth. Then blunt machines are used to bore holes in the hard rock, and explosives are inserted into the boreholes to blast and fracture the rock to remove the ore.
Furthermore, underground mining is another method/process across the mining industry generally used to extract mining ores and materials deep beneath surface mining. Underground mining is used when the copper ore is not near the earth's surface. Miners dig a shaft into the ore deposit vertically or in a horizontal tunnel to do this.
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Rising Demand of Copper Based Materials from the Growing Construction Industry is Likely to Push the Market Growth
The market is segmented based on grade as below 0.5%, 0.5%-1.0%, 1.0%-1.5%, and above 1.5%. The 1.0%-1.5% segment holds a dominant market share globally due to its adoption of copper-based supportive equipment and tools such as wires and cables. Furthermore, the demand for mining of copper is likely to grow due to the increasing demand for wires and cables from the construction industry. The highest quality copper, 99.9% pure, is used in electrical Grades where high conductivity is required. Such factors create the demand for the best copper grade in particular sectors.
In November 2022, Adventus Mining Corporation selected STRACON-RIPCONCIV, a well-established Peruvian mining contractor for a copper-gold project open pit mining agreement in Ecuador.
Latin America Copper Mining Market Size, 2022 (USD Billion)
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This market is categorized across North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa. Latin America is experiencing growth in the industry due to a combination of geological factors increasing demand for copper, favorable investment conditions, and advancement in mining.
Latin America accounted for the highest copper mining market share, owing to the wide presence of copper mines. For instance, Chile in the region accounted for the world’s largest copper producer and exporter. Peru is another major copper producer in the region. The Antamina, Tocquepala, and Las Bambas mines contribute significantly to country copper production. Moreover, various collaboration strategies among the companies are also boosting the production activities in the region. For instance, in August 2023, Corporación Nacional del Cobre de Chile (Codelco) and Anglo American collaborated to increase their production output in the region.
Furthermore, the mining industry plays a crucial role in defining various countries’ GDP in the Asia Pacific region. For instance, the Australian mining industry accounts for around 75% of the country's exports and contributes significantly to Australia's workforce and thriving economy. In Australia, there are over 300 mines distributed across all states. The resources sector is highly relevant for economic activity and accounts for approximately 9% of the GDP and 60% of the exports.
The global market is considerably fragmented, with various players operating at the national, regional, and global levels. The market participants are significantly focusing on developing high performance with enhanced operational characteristics to fortify their foothold in the industry.
Production at the Chilean mining giant Codelco, the world’s largest copper mining company, declined 10% year-on-year to 1,553 thousand tonnes in 2022. The production of the company was affected by the lower grade and copper recovery at the Ministro Hales mine and at Chuquicamata and El Teniente divisions.
Other key industry participants include Freeport-McMoRan Inc., BHP Billiton Ltd., Glencore International AG, Southern Copper Corp, and many other small, medium, and large players. These organizations continuously focus on expanding their product/service offering and reach across the market.
An Infographic Representation of Copper Mining Market
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The global copper mining market research report provides a detailed market analysis and focuses on key aspects such as leading companies, product/service process, and leading grades. Besides, the report offers insights into the market trends and highlights key industry developments. In addition to the factors above, the report encompasses several factors contributing to market growth in recent years.
CAGR of 3.3% from 2023 to 2030
Value (USD Billion), Volume (Thousand MT)
By Process, Grade, and Region
The Fortune Business Insights study shows that the global market was USD 8.44 billion in 2022.
The global market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 3.3% in the forecast period.
The market size of Latin America stood at USD 3.70 billion in 2022.
Based on process, the open-pit mining segment holds the dominating share in the global market.
The global market size is expected to reach USD 11.17 billion by 2030.
Demand for copper due to economic growth and technological advancement is likely to push the market growth
Codelco and Freeport-McMoRan Inc. are some of the top players actively operating across the market.
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