Copper has been a useful metal throughout history because of its various properties. About half of the total copper is used in electrical pieces of equipment productions. The major benefit of copper is it can be recycled and reused without affecting its properties. Copper is a ductile element having good conductivity of electricity and heat. It can also halt bacterial growth. Moreover, copper can be recycled so the earth’s resources are conserved. The primary copper is the one obtained directly from ores, while the copper obtained from recycling is secondary copper.
Usage of Copper
Copper is used for various purposes. Some of them are given below:
- Water supplies
Due to this extensive usage of copper, more mining companies like Solaris Resources are expanding their projects to produce a higher quantity of copper.
Copper is extracted from its ores. The major ores are sulfides and oxides. Silicates and other unwanted minerals are separated. Copper mining is usually done by two common methods.
- Underground Mining
In this method, a shaft is sunk into the depths of the earth, and ores are mined.
- Open-pit Mining
In this method, the ores present on the earth’s surface are removed and treated with dilute sulphuric acid. The copper is converted into copper sulfate, which is then refined by electrolytic refining. This method of mining is also utilized by Solaris Resources (TSXV SLS) in its Warintza project of copper mining in Ecuador.
Advanced Copper Mining
The open-pit mining process is very efficient which extracts almost 99% copper. So, advanced types of machinery and proper techniques are necessary to extract copper.
Importance of Advanced Copper Mining
Advanced mining processes of copper are important for the environment and humanity. The reasons why advanced copper mining is crucial are:
The advanced processes are necessary because there is not enough scrap copper to meet the country’s and economy’s needs. When a country’s economy grows, copper consumption increases to make various appliances. The scrap copper entering the market doesn’t meet the needs, so using advanced mining and refining processes is important for the economy of the country.
- Usage in appliances
The largest amount of copper is used in electronic wires and cables. These kinds of products are made from pure copper. So, pure copper can be obtained from advanced mining processes. For example, house wires have to be 99.9% pure to reduce the electrical conductivity issues due to impurities.
- Low energy expenditure
Advanced processes decrease energy consumption
- Environment friendly
The emission of greenhouse gases is reduced due to new methods, contributing to environmental safety.
Tools for Copper Exploration
Not only traditional mining methods but some tools are now used as advanced copper mining techniques.
- The tool used for copper exploration is NIR spectroscopy.
- The spectrometers used for copper exploration are oreXplorer, etc.
- The software used for this purpose is EZ-ID.
Features of EZ-ID are:
- Fast identification of unknown minerals when a known spectral sample is present.
- The software is easy to use.
- Gives accurate values of unknown minerals.
- Simple user interface.
Advanced copper mining processes make the environment free from harmful gases. Moreover, they extract more copper as copper is used everywhere in human lives.