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South Australia will be the leading contributor to Australia becoming the world's third largest copper producer

South Australia's Copper Strategy

The Strategy was launched on 23 February 2016. It outlines the plan to triple the state's copper production to 1 million tonnes per year witin the next two decades and ensure the South Australian community benefits from this increase.

Achievements to June 2018

Copper scorecardSouth Australia's Copper Scorecard to June 2018 has been developed to:

  • track industry progress across the value-chain, and
  • inform Copper Strategy directions.

It presents the significant progress that has been made towards achieving the Strategy's action themes:

  • 1: Exploration, discovery and information
  • 2: Developing innovative infrastructure, services and research
  • 3: Building industry and community capacity

Download the South Australia's Copper Scorecard - Achievements to June 2018 (PDF 1.1 MB)

The Copper Strategy has been a collaborative effort with input from industry, research institutions, community groups and Aboriginal representatives.

The Strategy targets accelerating exploration and discovery, improved productivity and efficiency through innovation and maximising community engagement to guarantee continued public support for the resources sector.

The Copper Strategy is currently being updated.

Why a copper strategy?

Copper has a key role in the 21st Century. The efficiency of copper aids sustainable construction in a rapidly urbanising world and is important in mitigating the effects of climate change.

South Australia has the resources and the expertise to meet the increasing need for copper -  the geologically significant Gawler Craton contains one of the world’s largest ore bodies at Olympic Dam and a host of other significant deposits, including Prominent Hill.

A copper strategy that:

  • accelerates exploration leading to increased production
  • supports research and development leading to innovations
  • makes the industry more efficient

will ensure South Australia reaps the full potential of its natural resources in a coordinated way that benefits everyone in the community. The strategy will also have spill-over benefits - regional communities and the next generation of South Australians seeking a high-skilled career in the mineral and mining services industries all stand to benefit.

Growth in copper demand across the world is estimated to outstrip supply from 2020.

Our geography means we are well placed to meet the long-term demand for copper from the economic powerhouses of Asia. We have a highly-skilled workforce and academic institutions that are on the forefront of research and development.

But we also face some challenges.

A comprehensive Copper Strategy for South Australia will allow us to address those challenges so we can unlock the full potential of our assets.

Developing South Australia's Copper Strategy


  • Industry and research institutions were invited to join with the South Australian Government at a copper summit on 6 May 2015 to discuss the challenges, opportunities and actions needed to raise South Australia’s total copper production to support Australia becoming the world’s third largest copper producer.
  • Feedback from the copper summit was used to develop a consultation directions paper - South Australian copper summit feedback (PDF)
  • The resultant consultation directions paper outlined six focus areas for consideration and was made available to all stakeholders, including the public, for comment.
  • Copper strategy workshops were held in Port Augusta and Adelaide during October 2015 to consider the six focus areas and help develop practical actions for inclusion in the copper strategy.
  • South Australia's Copper Strategy was launched on 23 February 2016.

For more information, contact:

Charles Moore
Director, Resource Information
Mineral Resources Division
Department for Energy and Mining

Phone: +61 (8) 8429 2477
Mobile: +61 (0) 422 007 059