Copper is an internationally traded commodity, and its price is effectively determined by the major metals exchanges — the London Metal Exchange (LME), the New York Commodity Exchange (COMEX) and  the Shanghai Futures Exchange (SHFE). Prices on these exchanges generally reflect the worldwide balance of copper supply and demand, and can be volatile and cyclical. In general, demand for copper reflects the rate of underlying world economic growth, particularly in industrial production and construction. According to Wood Mackenzie, a widely followed independent metals market consultant, copper’s end-use markets (and their estimated shares of total consumption) are construction (31 percent), consumer products (24 percent), electrical applications (24 percent), transportation (11 percent) and industrial machinery (10 percent).

Copper’s physical attributes include superior electrical conductivity, corrosion resistance, structural capability, efficient heat transfer and aesthetics. Other materials that compete with copper include aluminum, plastics, stainless steel and fiber optics. Substitution of competing materials has been modest because it is difficult to duplicate copper’s unique characteristics.

Copper consumption is closely associated with industrial production, and therefore, tends to follow economic cycles. During an expansion, demand for copper tends to increase, thereby driving up the price. As a result, copper prices are volatile and cyclical.

We are one of the world's leading producers of copper concentrate, cathode and continuous cast copper rod.

Copper Concentrate. Copper concentrate is a dry powder that is used as a feedstock for smelters. We supply it to our own smelters and to third party smelters.

Copper Cathode. Copper cathode is used as the raw material input for continuous cast copper rod and for brass mill products.

Continuous Cast Copper Rod. Copper rod is used as feedstock to produce electrical wire, cable and other products. Freeport-McMoRan is the largest manufacturer of continuous-cast copper rod in the world.

How we Mine

To learn more about our mining process, click here.