Copper depletion in the Iberian Pyrite Belt: another indicator of global scarcity

D.R.N. Rosa, R.N. Rosa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The analysis of copper production data from the Iberian Pyrite Belt allows the identification of different phases of copper mining in the last 70 years, corresponding to technological and economic changes. The statistical data indicate that the belt has passed its copper production peak. This is the result of the depletion of existing reserves, with mining of ores with progressively lower grades. These reserves are only being replaced at a slow rate, because exploration success has been decreasing. This is despite the large exploration effort, as evidenced by the length of recent exploration holes. This probably implies that the belt will enter into a new cycle of its long mining history, while the world as a whole will eventually reach its copper peak.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-43
Number of pages5
JournalTransactions of the Institutions of Mining and Metallurgy, Section B: Applied Earth Science
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • Copper
  • Iberian pyrite belt
  • Peak
  • Production
  • Reserves

Programme Area

  • Programme Area 4: Mineral Resources


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