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Economic Issues & Market Analysis Brief: Metal Casting - Copper

Cutbacks of U.S. mine production of copper continued into 2001. The Continental Mine in Montana expected to reopen in late 2000 but remained closed. Phelps Dodge Corp. completed conversion of its Morenci, AZ. mine to an all-leach operation by the end of the first quarter and curtailed concentrate production at Chino, NM. Kennecott Utah Copper Corp. closed its higher cost North concentrator at its Bingham Canyon Mine at midyear. In October, citing further deterioration in the near-term economic outlook following the September 11 terrorist attacks, Phelps Dodge announced that it would curtail an additional 220,000 tons per year of U.S. production by mid-January 2002. Phelps Dodge also planned to close the Chino (NM) and Miami (AZ) leach operations and halve production at the Sierrita (AZ) and Bagdad (AZ) mines. It also planned to close its Chino smelter and Miami refinery. Overall U.S. refined consumption was projected to decline by 10% in 2001.