Copper is one of the most widely used metals on the planet and has been for over 10,000 years. There are virtually zero substitutes for copper in its many applications and it has become indispensable in modern society.
Copper can acquire new characteristics when alloyed with other metals, such as zinc (brass), aluminum or tin (bronzes) or nickel, for use in highly specialized applications. It can be shaped, molded and bent into various forms including sheets and wire which are used in a variety of applications. Copper is one of the most recycled of all metals making it a highly sustainable metal of choice.
The global demand for copper continues to grow from emerging economies. Both India and China are rapidly urbanizing by improving infrastructure and upgrading power grids as well as building more homes, automobiles, and appliances. Insufficient copper is being found, developed and mined to meet the current projections of 4% growth a year in global demand. The supply of copper from mining companies continues to lag behind usage and the shortfall is being offset by secondary supplies and recycled scrap. The world uses more copper each year than the Bingham Canyon (world’s largest copper mine) has produced in 150 years of operation.
Large mines are hard to find and increasingly expensive to develop. Political instability, bureaucracy, environmental opposition and permitting have all lengthened leads times to development and production.
|Construction||Copper and its alloys are used for plumbing, taps, valves, fittings, façades, canopies, roofing, doors and window frames.|
|Electronic Parts & Communications||An essential component of energy efficient generators, motors, transformers, power cables, renewable energy production systems, domestic subscriber lines, wide and local area networks, mobile phones and personal computers.|
|Transportation||All major forms of transportation depend on copper to perform critical functions including boats; electric and hybrid vehicles; new generation airplanes and trains.|
|Machinery and Equipment||Copper alloys are used for gears, bearings, turbine blades, heat exchange equipment, pressure vessels, vats, tanks, piping exposed to seawater, propellers, oil platforms and coastal power stations.|
|General Products||Copper-based coins last 10, 20 and 50 times longer than paper bills. Other products that use copper include computers, electrical appliances, cookware, brassware, locks and keys.|
|Antimicrobial Material||Copper inhibits the growth of harmful pathogens such as bacteria, moulds, algae, fungi, and viruses. Doorknobs and plates exploit copper’s biostatic properties to help prevent the transfer of disease and microbes|
Copper Development Association – Copper Is…
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