Copper is a metal and is denoted by Cu symbol. It has a high electrical and thermal conductivity by the virtue of this it is used aggressively in construction of various buildings, solar energy transmission, high speed data transmission lines, alloy materials or telecommunication instruments and storage of nuclear waste or super conductor. Apart from technological use, it is also used as wood preservatives, bacteriostatic substances and fungicides. Due to its malleable and soft physical property in soft form it is widely used to fabricate cables and pipes.
Generally available copper for mining is distributed over larger geographical areas, which is found mixed and materialized with materials and rocks. Copper is generally mined and extracted in form of compound ore known as copper oxide ore and copper sulfides ore. The copper percentage in a particular copper ores generally ranges to 1.8% from 1% are called as “copper grade”. Copper ores passes through many processes and stages to extract pure copper involving crushing of ore to smaller size pieces. After crushing of ores the concentration is separated on type of ores i.e. Oxide ores are moved to leaching tanks whereas sulfites are routed to concentrating stages. First stage of commercially producing copper is copper concentrate containing equal number of parts of iron, copper and sulfide. Once copper is concentrated it is converted into pure form using electro-winning, smelting electrolytic refining and leaching. After it copper concentrate is finally converted into power of metal, which is again sent to attain forms so that it can be easily refined to get purest form of copper
Copper mining can be categorized on the basis of method used such as Underground mining and open pit mining out of which open pit mining is dominant method used because of certain advantages like high production rates, lower cost, flexibility in operations, and relatively safe methods.
China accounts of nearly half of the global demand of copper whereas Chile accounts for one-fifth of global copper supplies. Due to its high conductivity, copper helps in using energy more efficiently and even helps in enhancing quality of product and conserved fuel consumption. Per-capita consumption of copper ranges from 10 to 20 kg for developed countries to 1 to 2 kg for developing countries or may be less than that. The key driver of the copper mining market is its extensive demand in differentiated fields.
The demand for copper is expected to grow in North American, Row and Asia-Pacific market, the market share for European market is high and growth prospects are less.
The major key players of the copper mining market include African copper, Aditiya Birla Minerals, DOT Resources Ltd., Caribou King Resources Ltd, Global Hunter Corp, Southern Copper Corp, Advance SCT Ltd and rio Tinto Group.
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