The Bureau of Mines evaluated the potential supply of primary copper from domestic mines and deposits and found that increases in copper price will be required in order for many domestic deposits to continue production. As part of the study, a tonnage-price relationship was developed indicating the quantity of copper that could be produced economically from known deposits at various copper prices and at various rates of return on the required capital investment. costs of production are based on estimated capital and operating costs for mining, concentrating, transporting, smelting, and refining. Direct and indirect operating costs, recovery of investment, and return on investment have been included in the smelting and refining costs. Capital and operating costs are calculated in January 1978 dollars, and byproduct credits are based on January 1978 prices. Known domestic copper mines and deposits contain nearly 92 million metric tons of copper in about 14 billion metric tons of demonstrated mineralized material. These tonnages represent the current domestic copper reserve base. Approximately 74 million metric tons of copper are recoverable from the reserve base using existing technology. Of this quantity, slightly more than 50 million metric tons are economically recoverable assuming a price of $1.00 per pound of copper, credit for the recovery of byproducts, and a 15 percent rate of return on capital investment. Approximately 60 percent of the copper occurs in mines that were producing at the time of the study.

  • Corporate Authors:

    Bureau of Mines

    C Street Between 18th and 19th Streets, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20241
  • Authors:
    • Rosenkranz, R D
    • Davidoff, R L
    • Lemons Jr, J F
  • Publication Date: 1979

Media Info

  • Features: Figures;
  • Pagination: 31 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00311461
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jun 9 1980 12:00AM