Skarn’s latest update to the Copper Water Curve

Skarn’s latest update to the Copper Water Curve is now available. Production, water use and climatic data for 175 copper producing assets have been updated and 23 new mines have been added to the dataset, representing over 17 kt of copper production in 2022.

Skarn’s Water balance methodology has been adapted to align with the ICMM 2021 and Minerals Council of Australia WAF 2022 guidelines definitions. The bottom-up data analysis methodology allows for quantified asset, company, country, regional and global analysis of water use in the mining industry: Absolute and intensity values of water withdrawals, consumption, discharge, recirculation, first-use continental fresh water. The analysis also includes climate risk analysis, water-related production-at-risk, and relative performance comparison.

From the latest update, we share a quick glance on recent regional water use in the copper industry:
  â–ª   On a global level, the volume of water consumed to produce a tonne of copper continues to gradually increase, close to 3% over the last 5 years.
  â–ª   There are important regional differences and trends in water consumption: Africa, East Asia and Oceania are reducing their water consumption intensities in time, whereas the Americas and Europe, representing over 60% of global copper production, are increasing their water consumption numbers. 
  â–ª  Global water-related copper production-at-risk continues to increase, reaching 8.6% of global production in 2022. Interestingly, forward looking production-at-risk is to decrease by 2025 with 2 points due to the planned incorporation of various desalinated seawater supply systems in Chile. Without these projects, overall production risk would continue to increase.


Subscribers to the Skarn Water - Copper Mines Service can view the update in the Client Zone.


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Skarn Associates is the market leader in quantifying and benchmarking asset-level greenhouse gas emissions, energy intensity, and water use across the mining sector.

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