Copper Stocks
A comprehensive list of Copper stocks trading on U.S. exchanges and OTC markets

Copper Stocks by Market Cap

Copper Market Key Terms

Copper Concentrate

    • Copper concentrate is an intermediate product in the copper production chain.
    • It is the product of a process known as beneficiation. The beneficiation process involves crushing and grinding copper ore to a fine size, followed by a flotation process.
    • Copper concentrate collected during the flotation process typically contains around 20%-30% copper. 
    • This product is then dried and sent to a smelter for further refinement.

Copper Cathode

  • A pure form of copper with purity exceeding 99.99%.
  • Copper cathode is the primary product in the copper industry and is the basis for the London Metal Exchange's Copper Futures contract.
  • Copper concentrate is typically smelted to get a copper bar with 99.9% purity.
  • An electrorefining process called electrolysis is then used to refine the product further to 99.99% purity.

Continuous Cast Copper Rod

  • Continuous cast copper rod is a high-quality copper product manufactured using a continuous casting process.
  • Molten copper is continuously poured into a water-cooled mold, resulting in a solid copper rod with a consistent diameter and smooth surface, suitable for various industrial applications.
  • It is used in electrical wiring, automotive components, industrial machinery, construction and in various consumer goods.

SX-EW (Solvent Extraction and Electrowinning)

  • Solvent Extraction Electrowinning is a copper production method that involves leaching copper from ore with a solvent, extracting the copper from the solution, and electrowinning the copper from the resulting electrolyte.
  • Copper mining giant Freeport-McMoRan (FCX) detail the process in their 2022 Annual Report:

"For ore subject to the SX/EW process, the ore is placed on stockpiles and copper is extracted from the ore by dissolving it with a weak sulfuric acid solution. The copper content of the solution is increased in two additional SX stages, and then the copper-bearing solution undergoes an EW process to produce cathode that is, on average, 99.99% copper. Our copper cathode is used as the raw material input for copper rod, brass mill products and for other uses."

Selected Copper Stocks 5Y Performance

Copper Investing FAQ

How much Copper is used in an EV?
  • The typical electric vehicle uses 53.2kg per vehicle, according to a 2022 IEA report.
  • This is more than double the 22.3kg per vehicle used in a conventional car.

Source: IEA: The Role of Critical Minerals in Clean Energy Transitions.

Which country mines the most Copper?
  • Chile is the leading producer of mined copper, with an estimated 24% of global mine production in 2022.
  • Following Chile are Congo (10%), Peru (10%), China (9%) and the United States (6%).

Source: U.S. Geological Survey 2023 Mineral Commodity Summaries.

What is the largest Copper mine in the world?
  • The Escondida Copper mine in Northern Chile is the largest copper mine in the world.
  • The mine is located in the Atacama desert at an elevation of 10,000 feet above sea level.
  • According to owner BHP’s 2022 annual report, the Escondidada mine:
      • contains 27 billion tonnes of ore at an average grade of 0.52 per cent.
      • is targeting average annual production of 1.2 million tonnes over the medium turn.
      • has a medium term cost guidance of $1.15 per pound.
  • Mine Ownership:
      • BHP (57.5%)
      • Rio Tinto (30%)
      • JECO Corp (12.5%) – A Japanese JV majority owned by Mitsubishi
  • The mine grade has been in decline. BHP notes that for fiscal year 2022, “Escondida copper production decreased by 6 per cent to 1,004 kt primarily due to concentrator feed grade decline of 4 per cent.”

BHP’s FY 2022 Annual Report

How is Copper used in the Energy Transition?

Electric Vehicles

    • An EV uses twice as much copper per vehicle as a traditional car (see above).

Transmission

    • The cables and transformers used by electrical transmission rely on copper.

Renewables

    • Copper is also used to make solar PV cells and wind turbines.
What are the most commonly traded Copper futures contracts?
  • There are widely traded copper futures contracts on both the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) and the London Metal Exchange (LME).
  • The CME contract is quoted in USD per pound, with a lot size of 25,000 pounds.
  • The LME is quoted as USD per tonne, with a lot size of 25 tonnes. 

CME Copper Futures Spec

LME Copper Futures Spec

1 tonne = 2205 pounds

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