Copper is essential to life and our modern society .

What is copper?


Copper is a pinkish-orange metal that is used in a broad range of everyday household products. It’s an excellent conductor of electricity and is corrosion resistant and antimicrobial, meaning it can prevent the growth of bacteria.

Where is copper used?

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Copper is commonly used across both residential and industrial construction.

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It is used throughout infrastructure, including power grids and traffic lights.

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Copper is used in cars, aircraft and trains.

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Household products

Everyday household products like air conditioners, refrigerators, TVs and microwaves all contain copper.

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Your smartphone can contain up to 20g of copper.

Power sector

Copper is used by the power sector in distribution lines, generators and transformers.

Why does BHP mine copper?

As we move towards a lower carbon future, copper is essential to creating the infrastructure needed for renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar. We also believe the demand for copper will continue to grow due to grade declines at existing copper mines, the radical urbanisation of large populations in China and India, and the ongoing electrification of energy and transportation.
1,716.5 ktWe produced 1,716.5 kt of copper in FY2023.
50We are extending the life of our Spence mine in Chile by 50 years.
x2Copper demand will likely double over the next 30 years.

Where is copper found?


Copper is found all over the world. We own and operate several copper mines in Chile, South Australia, and a proposed mine located in Arizona, US.

How is copper mined?


There are two way to mine copper, depending on where the ore body is located.

In our Escondida mine in Chile, the copper is relatively close to the surface, which means it can be mined via open cut. The process looks like this:



At Olympic Dam in South Australia, the ore body is located much deeper below the earth's surface. There, we operate an underground mine, following this method: