MINING.com top 10 lowest-cost copper mines

Atico Mining’s newly upgraded El Roble mine, 145 km southwest of Medellin, is the only producing copper-gold volcanogenic massive sulphide deposit in the country. Credit: Atico Mining.Atico Mining’s newly upgraded El Roble mine, 145 km southwest of Medellin, is the only producing copper-gold volcanogenic massive sulphide deposit in the country. Credit: Atico Mining.

The all-in sustaining costs (AISCs) metric has been widely used in the mining industry since 2013 for its comprehensive and transparent look at an operation’s costs.

According to data from Miningintelligence, Lundin Mining’s Chapada mine was the clear winner among global copper operations with AISCs at $1,411 per tonne during the second quarter of this year.

In second and third place are two mines owned by First Quantum Minerals – Guelb Moghrein in Mauritania and Las Cruces in Spain  – with AISCs of $1,918/t and $2,050/t, respectively, while the Vancouver company’s Zambian operation also breaks into the top 10.

The fourth place is shared by the Antas mine in Brazil, owned by Oz Minerals, and Atico Mining’s El Roble mine in Colombia, both operating at all in costs below $3,000/t during Q2 2020.

A majority of copper operations in the top 10 use truck & shovel technology, with the exception of El Roble (drift & fill, cut & fill), Carrapateena (sublevel caving), Jabal Sayid (long hold stoping) and Cozamin (long hole stoping, cut & fill).

Click on the table for free Excel downloads from the Miningintelligence database of over 37,000 projects, 16,000 companies and 2 million source documents.

— This article first appeared in MINING.com, part of Glacier Resource Innovation Group.

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