Copper mine production across Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea rose 8.6% in the first two months of 2012 compared with the year-earlier period, outstripping rises in output across other key producing regions, an intergovernmental organisation said last Friday.
According to the International Copper Study Group, or ICSG, mine production of the red metal in Oceania totaled 192,000 metric tonnes in January and February, compared with 176,800 tonnes in the same months of 2011.
The growth in output was ahead of a 5.7% rise in production in the Americas, a 3.5% rise in Africa and a 2.7% increase in Europe. In Asia, mine production fell 2.8%, it said.
The ICSG was established in 1992 as an intergovernmental group to increase copper market transparency and provide an international forum on industry issues.
While production grew, demand for the industrial metal--widely used in manufacturing and construction--fell in Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea during the period.
Refined copper usage totaled 19,400 tons in January and February, down from 21,100 tons in the year-earlier period, the ICSG said.