Map of Copper Deposits Worldwide
This map depicts World Copper Deposits in pink. For more detail, hover over the map. To take a closer look, zoom in. For more information, scroll down.
|Sediment-hosted Copper (CU)||Porphyry Copper (CU)|
Copper is a chemical element with the symbol Cu from the Latin "cuprum".
Copper is a reddish, ductile metal, a good conductor of electricity and heat.
Copper was one of the first metals used by humans about 8,000 years ago. It is the most abundant of non-ferrous metals.
Copper is easy to combine with other metals to form alloys. It has uses from structural to decorative applications.
Copper production is so large that it is often used to determine the state of global trade..
You can own pure copper. Amazon has a 5 lb Copper Bar. This is a pure bullion with a periodic table design; it is 99.9% pure solid copper.
Copper Properties and Uses
Copper is used in electrical transformers, electrical wires, and other conductors. Even though silver is more electrically conductive than copper, it is not good at handling the heat. Copper does not burn while handling high voltages.
While other metals corrode or rust, like iron, copper oxidizes, leaving a protective surface layer.
This layer protects the iron for thousands of years, making copper durable.
This is why the Statue of Liberty is green. It is made of copper 3/32 in. (2.4 millimeters) thick, the same as two U.S. pennies put together. The Statue's copper has naturally oxidized to form a "patina" of green coating.
In many places, this patina is as thick as the copper behind it, protecting it from naturally wearing away. Source: NPS.
Due to its high ductility, copper is ideal for jewelry.
Copper is anti-bacterial. This is because copper ions break down proteins that make up single-celled organisms.
Copper is recyclable, making it eco-friendly. Source: Metals.
Copper is used by the human body. It is used by enzymes and, therefore, an essential element.
Meanwhile, Cu is used by some crustaceans to transport oxygen.
To learn more about the geology and formation of copper, including porphyry and sediment-hosted copper, go to copper mineralization.
You can buy copper in different mineral forms on Amazon. You can find it as Chrysocolla tumbled & hand polished.
You can also get Malachite on Amazon. You will find it as GeoFossils Malachite Large Tumbled Stone.
World Copper Deposits
Historically the most profitable copper mines are those with porphyry deposits via open pit-mining.
These deposits do not have the highest grade of copper and usually have higher refining costs.
Copper deposit grades are usually expressed as a weight percentage of the total rock.
The average grade of copper ores nowadays is below 0.6%.
It is estimated that there are 2.8 billion tonnes of copper. It is also estimated that there are 3.5 billion metric tonnes of undiscovered copper.
65% of copper reserves are believed to be in Chile, Australia, Peru, Mexico, and the United States. Source: USGS.
If you like reading more about copper trade and mining, Amazon has Boom, Bust, Boom: A Story about Copper, the Metal That Runs the World. This is an informative and thought-provoking account of civilization’s complete dependence on copper and what extracting it from the earth means for people, nature, and the global economy.
Largest Copper Mines
The majority of the deepest open pit operations in the world are copper producing mines.
Econdida copper porphyry deposit mine in Chile's Atacama Desert is the world's largest copper mine by reserve.
The mine contained over 32 million tonnes of recoverable copper reserves at the end of 2012.
This mine accounts for 7.0% of the world's copper production. It is estimated that its reserve life is of 54 years.
Currently, Escondida is one of the ten deepest open pit mines worldwide.
BHP-Billiton operates the Escondida mine, holding 57.5% interest. Other stakeholders include Rio Tinto (30%), a Japanese consortium headed by Mitsubishi (10%), and the International Finance Corporation (2.5%).
This is the world's second-largest copper mine by capacity. It is situated in northern Chile.
The Collahuasi mine has up to 51 years of life from 2020.
is based on a typical low-grade copper porphyry. The major ore minerals are chalcocite, chalcopyrite and bornite.
The environment at Collahuasi is harsh and fragile. Fortunately, ecological issues have a top priority. Collahuasi is a zero-discharge operation, with much of its water being recycled. Source: Min.Tech.
Buenavista del Cobre, Mexico
This mine is near the U.S.-Mexico border and situated in the Sonora Desert.
This is an open-pit mine. It is considered to be the oldest continuously operated mine in North America.
This mine was originally known as Cananea.
In 2014 40,000 cubic meters of wastewater spilled into the Bacanuchi and Sonora rivers. The water had sulfuric acid and possibly cyanide.
Unfortunately, the spill was not disclosed until local residents informed authorities the river had changed color. Buenavista was required to pay a fine for the disaster. Source: bnamericas.
The Morenci copper mine is located in Arizona.
This mine transitioned from an underground mine to one of the world's largest open pit mines.
The proven and probable reserves of the mine were estimated at 11.13 billion tonnes, grading 0.24% copper.
Percentage of global production: 2.6%.
Cerro Verde II, Peru
This Peruvian mine produces 2.5% of the world's copper production.
Not far from Arequipa, this mine has been used since the 1800s.
The mine also produces large amounts of molybdenum.
The main oxide copper minerals are brochantite, chrysocolla, malachite, and copper “pitch.”
Its largest Owner is Freeport-McMoRan Inc. ABCdust.
Kennecott Copper Mine, Utah, USA
The Bingham Canyon Mine, also known as Kennecott Copper Mine is located southwest of Salt Lake City. This mine has been operating since 1903 and is currently operated by Rio Tinto.
This is an open-pit mine that extracts porphyry copper, molybdenum, tellurium, silver, and gold.
This mine is not one of the largest copper producers worldwide, but it is the world's largest man-made excavation on Earth!
This mine has produced more copper than any mine in history. About 16.4 million tonnes. The mine is 2-3/4 miles (4Km) across at the top and 3/4mi (1.2Km) deep. Source: Atlas Obscura.
Resources for World Copper Deposits Map
The shapefiles with copper deposits are from the U.S. Geological Survey mineral databases, MRDATA.
The Shapefiles with countries were downloaded from Natural Earth.
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Made by Luz K. Molina with D3.js.