NEW YORK U.S. copper mine production increased 5 percent to 1.17 million tonnes in 2012 from 1.11 million tonnes the previous year, according to U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) data.
Last years copper output, valued at $9 billion, was the highest level since 2009.
Mine production increases in Arizona, Nevada and New Mexico were partially offset by lower output in Utah, where production at Kennecott Utah Copper Corp.s Bingham Canyon Mine declined by 32,000 tonnes, according to USGS figures.
U.S. imports of refined copper totaled 630,000 tonnes last year. Chile was the largest supplier at 402,000 tonnes, followed by Canada (115,000 tonnes), Mexico (88,200 tonnes), Peru (16,400 tonnes), Japan (4,700 tonnes) and Germany (2,230 tonnes).
The U.S. exported 100,000 tonnes of copper to China, 54,000 tonnes to Mexico and 1,410 tonnes to Japan.