Best copper stocks to buy in 2021

Copper is the third most consumed industrial metal after iron and aluminum, and its uses are diverse. On this page, we list the top copper stocks right now and explain what makes them stand out.
By: Charlie Hancox
Charlie Hancox
Alongside his passion for trading, Charlie has represented Great Britain and won national championships as a water polo player,… read more.
Updated: Sep 24, 2021
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This page outlines the best copper stocks that money can buy right now. We delve into their origins, business model and future potential as an investment, and we have ranked them based on various key metrics. Read on to learn more.

What are the top copper stocks to buy?

This table lists the 5 best copper companies in the world, as ranked by our team of expert analysts. There is a strong blend of established copper industry veterans along with fresh-faced top performers. To check out each company’s latest market performance, click on the relevant link in the table.

#Stock symbolCompany name
1RIORio Tinto Limited
2FCXFreeport-McMoRan Incorporated
3SCCOSouthern Copper Corporation
4CMMCCopper Mountain Mining Corporation
5TRQTurquoise Hill Resources Limited
List selected by our team of analysts, updated 24 September 2021.

Simply scroll down to discover why each company has secured a spot on our list.

1. Rio Tinto Limited (LON: RIO)

Founded in 1873 and based in London, the United Kingdom, Rio Tinto is an international mining and development corporation. It operates open-pit and underground mining operations, along with refineries, power stations, mills, smelters, and research and service facilities. It is currently the world’s second-largest metals and mining corporation, behind BHP, producing well over 500,000 metric tons of copper every year.

The company owns a swathe of different assets around the world featuring a wide array of resources: copper, aluminium, diamonds, gold, borates, titanium dioxide, salt, iron ore, and uranium. This means Rio Tinto has no single-commodity or single-jurisdiction risk, unlike other pure copper players, and its market performance is more consistent because of this.

The primary reasons that Rio Tinto has made its way onto our list are the company’s reputation and extensive history of generating shareholder value, and its industry-leading dividend yield of over 8%. Moreover, the company’s stock price growth over the last decade has also been mightily impressive.

2. Freeport-McMoRan Incorporated (NYSE: FCX)

Incorporated in 1987 and headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona, Freeport-McMoRan is a mining company with mineral properties in North America, South America, and Indonesia. Rather than being a robust producer, Freeport generates shareholder value via exploration efforts, continually drilling and researching its assets and uncovering growing reserves of copper, gold, molybdenum, silver, and other metals, alongside oil and gas.

While investing in an exploration company can be riskier by virtue of the lack of consistent revenue from production, and the possibility of exploration efforts bearing no fruit, it is also a way to expose yourself to the best possible returns. Essentially, if Freeport hits something big, a major is likely to come in with a major take-out offer, leading to significant returns for shareholders.

The main reason Freeport-McMoRan has secured its spot on our list is because of its rapid growth in the last year. If you are looking for a copper company where aggressive growth is a real possibility, FCX may be ideal.

3. Southern Copper Corporation (NYSE: SCCO)

Incorporated in 1952 and is headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona, Southern Copper Corp. is a company focussed on mining, exploring, smelting, and refining copper and other minerals in Peru, Mexico, Argentina, Ecuador, and Chile. SCCO is a subsidiary of Americas Mining Corporation, and copper accounts for around 80% of its sales revenue.

SCCO is now one of the world’s largest integrated copper producers, providing copper, molybdenum, zinc, lead, coal and silver to its clients. In addition, the green energy narrative is at the heart of what the company does, with a focus on ‘attaining sustainability in terms of the environment, health, and overall well-being’ of both the company’s employees and neighbouring communities being a key strategic objective and allowing SCCO to maximise efficiency.

However, the main reason Southern Copper Corp. is on this list is the sheer quality of its assets. It has some of the lowest mining costs in the space and extremely low jurisdictional risk thanks to the favourable mining code of Canada. Additionally, some of its assets have a life-of-mine (LoM) standing at around 70 years, making them extremely valuable, and this figure could yet grow with additional resource expansion.

4. Copper Mountain Mining Corporation (TSE: CMMC)

Founded in 2006 and based in Vancouver, Canada, Copper Mountain Mining Corp. is one of the newest copper mining companies on this list, though its credentials should not be taken lightly. It is a mineral explorer targeting copper, gold, and silver deposits. Its flagship tenement is the Copper Mountain mine, which covers 6,702 hectares to the south of Princeton, British Columbia.

The company has grown rapidly in the last year by well over 500%, and its financial results reinforce this value proposition. CMMC has been minimally affected by COVID-19 and having achieved profitability in 2021 thanks to booming revenue, the next few years could offer even more catalyst moments for stockholders.

The extremely rapid growth of the company along with the low-risk jurisdiction of Canada are too impressive to ignore, and that is why Copper Mountain Mining Corp. is number 4 on our list.

5. Turquoise Hill Resources Limited (NYSE: TRQ)

Incorporated in 1994 and is based in Montreal, Canada, Turquoise Hill is a subsidiary of our number 1 company on this list, Rio Tinto. Formerly known as Ivanhoe Mines Ltd., Turquoise Hill explores for copper, gold, and silver deposits, focussing much of its attention on the flagship Oyu Tolgoi copper-gold mine in Southern Mongolia.

While the last 5 years have seen a substantial decline in TRQ’s stock price, 2021 has seen the company firmly emerge on the comeback trail, growing by well over 80%. With booming revenue (up more than 400%) and a clear plan in place to ramp up the development of Oyu Tolgoi, many feel this year’s resurgence is just the beginning.

The paramount reason that Turquoise Hill comes in at number 5 on our list is its impressively low P/E ratio of around 5, which indicates the stock is one of the most undervalued in the entire copper sector.

Where to buy the best copper shares

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What is a copper stock?

A copper stock is part of the industrial thematic. It is a publicly-listed company that provides copper, usually via mining, to a variety of clients. Thanks to its ability to conduct both heat and electricity well, along with its ductility and durability, it is used in construction, electric vehicle (EV) batteries, wiring, motors, power generation and much more.

The price of copper is broadly cyclical, meaning it follows the trends of the wider economy. This is because copper has widespread applications across the entire economy, and as a result, coppers stocks broadly follow market trends.

Are copper shares a good investment?

In general, yes, though it is worth remembering copper’s connection to the wider economic trajectory. With the decarbonisation of energy and transportation systems, and as construction ramps up following the COVID-19 pandemic, global copper use is expected to skyrocket from 23.4Mt to around 30Mt by 2030, meaning demand pressure could make copper companies even more profitable.

Most of the world’s copper is produced in Chile, Peru, China, the United States, Congo, Australia, and Mexico, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see efforts expand in these regions with already rich copper mining infrastructure.

Investing in a copper company also carries less risk than many other investment classes. Copper is a material that should remain permanently valuable and useful, so the copper macro story is one of particular robustness. As a result, prices are likely to remain far more stable than other commodities stocks or stock types.

The ESG narrative is gaining momentum with each passing year, so we recommend looking for copper companies that place emphasis on green, ethical mining, and a clean supply chain.

Find out more about copper stocks by checking out the latest news articles about the sector in the section below.

Latest copper news

Copper price ended the week in the green as the value of the US dollar declines. In the new week, focus will be on manufacturing PMIs and the greenback’s price movements. copper price Declining US dollar Copper price is also reacting to the declining value of the greenback. On…
Copper price is trading steadily above the psychological level of 4.00 after plunging below it in the past week. However, it remains below the crucial support-turn-resistance zone of 4.25 and below the long-term 200-day EMA. As such, investors are keen on whether the current rise is a corrective rebound…
Copper price is on a rebound, even as it remains on a downtrend. A stronger US dollar and China’s slowed economic growth are the key drivers. copper price Strengthening dollar The rising US dollar is also weighing on copper price. As is the case with most commodities, the red…
Copper price has been on a decline since hitting a two-month high in the past week. Slowed factory activity in China has impacted demand. copper price Chinese manufacturing activity The slowing down of China’s manufacturing activity is one of the key factors impacting copper prices. On Monday, the country’s…
Copper price is on a consolidation pattern as investors await further cues from various countries’ manufacturing PMIs. At the time of writing, it was down by 0.36% at $4.2765. copper price Week’s drivers of copper price On Wednesday, China is set to release its manufacturing PMI, with analysts expecting…
Copper price has surged by about 30% year-to-date. It hit its all-time high of 4.8845 in mid-May before pulling back. Shaw & Partners’ Peter O’Connor has indicated that the prices may soon normalize to below $4.53 per pound ($10,000 per tonne) as the metal’s supply bridges the current gap…
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Charlie Hancox
Financial writer
Alongside his passion for trading, Charlie has represented Great Britain and won national championships as a water polo player, and as a budding film director, has… read more.
Jayson Derrick
Lead News Editor
Jayson lives in Montreal with his wife and daughter, loves watching hockey, and is on a lifelong quest to perfect the art of Texas style BBQ. read more.