An Overview On Copper Production

Copper is one of few metals that occur naturally in a usable form and has efficiently made our lives more sustainable. This reddish gold-colored metal with amazingly desirable properties is the oldest metal used by humans. It has become a most versatile engineering metal with its extraordinary qualities that include strength, toughness, corrosion resistance, conductivity, machinability, and ductility. 

Use Of Copper

Half of the total production by copper mines is utilized for electrical purposes. One of the best reasons to consume copper is that it can be recycled indefinitely without losing properties. Till now, humans have explored the multiple roles of copper products in meeting present and future needs. Copper is effectively utilized for renewable energy, healthcare, transportation, and modern communication. Construction-related applications of copper are listed as follows:

  • Roofing
  • Cladding
  • Rainwater systems 
  • Heating systems
  • Oil and gas lines
  • Water pipes and fittings
  • Electrical wiring

Copper Mining

The technical advancements in mining equipment have significantly resulted in the progress of growth and production by the copper mining industry. Modern-day equipment is more efficient and makes the mining processes more profitable. The mining equipment used nowadays reduces waste production and chemical exposure throughout the phases of copper mining operations. Nowadays, several exploration and mining companies like Codelco strictly adhere to the principled approach towards the environment, sustainability, and governance. The copper ore has to go through eight important stages to obtain usable metal listed as follows:

  • Mining
  • Grinding
  • Concentrating
  • Roasting
  • Smelting
  • Conversion
  • Anode Casting
  • Electrorefining

In nearly 40 countries, around 250 mines are still in operation. The demand for copper is expected to grow in the upcoming decades as the greater share of renewable technologies is integrated with electrified processes by the global energy system. The US Geological Survey estimated that the global production of copper in 2020 was 30% higher than it was a decade ago. Chile is the leading producer and ranks first in copper mining operations. A survey estimated that copper reserves worldwide stand for around 870 million tons in which a quarter of the reserve is situated in Chile. Chile produced around 5.7 million tons of copper in 2020. The country has the biggest reserve worldwide as estimated at 200 million tons by the US Geological Survey. The list of top producers is followed by Peru, with the production of 2.2 million tons of copper in 2020. In the third position, China has produced 1.7 million tons of copper in the same year. Along with its domestic production, it imports a large amount of copper from other countries. The country has become the largest global consumer of metal.

Conclusion

Copper is the key to the sustainable and innovative growth of humanity. Throughout history, copper has been a significantly useful metal due to its great heat and electrical conductivity. Several countries in Asia, South America, Africa, and Europe are vastly contributing to copper production to meet global demands. 

Collective Mining is a company dedicated to mineral exploration. Collective Mining works hand-in-hand with its stakeholders to build a stronger and mutually beneficial future, while strictly adhering to a principled approach towards the environment, sustainability, and governance. The company is advancing exploration on large-scale copper-gold-molybdenum porphyry targets in the mining-friendly department of Caldas in Colombia.

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Sudarsan Chakraborty
Articles: 62

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