The real Tier-1 copper mines

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Report summary

Real Tier-1 mines need to be low cost, large and long life; and as such, they are relatively rare. We have examined which copper mines plot in our 'Tier-1 quadrant' – bottom half of the cost curve and greater than twice average production size. Twenty two mines fall in the quadrant based on 2016 cost and production estimates; only 9% of the global dataset. Filtering this group to those operations with an overall copper resource of more than twice the global average brings the number down to a select group of just 15.

What's included

This report contains

  • Document

    The real Tier-1 copper mines

    PDF 311.16 KB

  • Document

    Tier 1 Copper mines 2016 data.xls

    XLS 228.50 KB

  • Document

    The real Tier-1 copper mines

    ZIP 464.66 KB

Table of contents

  • Executive summary
  • Tier-1 definition – low cost, large, long life
  • Resource size is also key
  • Path to ownership
  • Conclusion

Tables and charts

This report includes 6 images and tables including:


  • Chart 1: All copper mines 2016
  • Chart 2: Tier-1 quadrant copper mines 2016
  • Chart 3: Large resource Tier-1 mines
  • Chart 4: All copper mines 2016 with relative resource ratio


  • Table: Large resource Tier-1 mines
  • Appendix: 2016 Tier -1 copper mine ownership

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