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Global Copper mine production climbs during Jan-Aug

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LONDON (Scrap Register): Global copper mine production is estimated to have increased by about 3% in the first eight month of 2018, with concentrate production rising by 3% and solvent extraction-electrowinning (SX-EW) by 3.8%, according to the latest figures released by the International Copper Study Group.

The increase in world mine production of about 410,000 t copper was mainly due to constrained output in the comparative period of 2017 namely in Chile and Indonesia.

Production in Chile, the world’s biggest copper mine producing country, increased by 8% primarily because production in February/March 2017 was restricted by a strike at Escondida (the world’s biggest copper mine) and also because there isan improvement in Codelco’s production levels in 2018.

Indonesian output increased by 27% because comparative output in 2017 was negatively affected by a temporary ban on concentrate exports that startedin January and ended in April.

A 11% increase in SX-EW production in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and a 10% rise in Zambian mine outputdue to the restart of temporarily closed capacity.

Although no major supply disruptions occurred in the first eight months of this year, overall growth was partially offset by loweroutput at some mines in Canada (-10%) and in the United States (-5.5%).

After a strong increase in the last few years due to new and expanded capacity, output in Peru (the world’s second largest copper mine producing country) has levelled off.

On a regional basis, mine production is estimated to have increasedby around 8.5% in Africa, 5% in Latin America, 3% in Asia and 7% in Oceania but declined by 5.5% in North America and remained essentially unchanged in Europe.

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