Copper is a ductile metal with high electrical and thermal conductivity. The metal is used as a conductor of electricity and heat, a building material, and as a constituent of certain metal alloys. Its aesthetic, physical, and chemical properties makes it a material of choice in an extensive range of industrial, domestic and high technology applications. Copper is majorly extracted or mined as copper sulfides from large mines in porphyry copper deposits contain approximately 1% copper. Copper and copper-based alloys are used in a variety of applications such as construction, wires, electronics and industrial equipment & machinery among others.
The global market for copper has been mature with its wide application scope in various technical and non-technical industries. Owing to its recycling property, copper has been a preferred choice of material for many applications. Copper has been a vital donor to the national economies of developed as well developing economies where the increasing mining and processing activities of copper has contributed to the building the infrastructure and further create trade opportunities for the future.
Several factors such as technological improvements, discovery of new deposits, efficient design and taking advantage of the renewable nature of copper through recycling and reuse have been driving the growth for the copper market. However, price volatility in certain energy sources used for the production of copper are expected to hamper the market. Regions such as North America, and South America were some of the major producers of copper. Future market growth is expected to be from emerging regions such as Asia Pacific with the growing amount of industrial activities providing new opportunities to the growth of the market, particularly in China and India.
Anglo American PLC, Codelco, First Quantum Minerals Ltd., The Furukawa Electric Co., Jiangxi Copper Company Limited, Nippon Mining & Metals Co. and Rio Tinto Group are some of the market players operating in this industry.
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