Slowing manufacturing demand for copper in China and throughout southeast Asia did not put much of a dent in Freeport McMoRan's second-quarter earnings.
But the company could adjust if growth falls too low, CEO Richard Adkerson told CNBC Thursday.
Freeport beat expectations, reporting net income of $1.37 billion, or $1.43 per share, for the period from $649 million, or 70 cents per share, a year ago.
China uses 40 percent of the world's copper, Adkerson said.
"China is the risk to the copper price today," he said. "If something were to happen with China I believe it would be temporary. The forces that have been unleashed for the global growth are not things we’re going to have to go back on."
But if necessary, the copper and gold miner would cut back on production as it did in 2008 and 2009 during the U.S. financial crisis.