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Copper: One of the Most Mined Metals in the World

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The shiny, reddish metal known as copper is ubiquitous in our lives today and has been used by our ancestors for thousands of years. It is found in great quantities all throughout the earth’s crust, and humans have created some of the largest and most productive mines in the world in order to extract it. At Federal Metals Inc., a scrap metal and copper recycling facility in Calgary, we deal with copper on a daily basis, so we know a thing or two about it.

Why is Copper Such a Valuable Metal?

Copper is malleable, ductile, conductive to both heat and electricity, and able to form alloys with numerous other metals, making it the ideal material for a variety of different applications. A typical single-family home, for example, will usually have over 400 pounds of copper in its wiring, plumbing, and appliances. Likewise, a typical car can easily contain upwards of 50 pounds of copper, with some electric cars containing as much as 150 pounds.

Where Are the Largest Copper Mines in the World Located?

Copper mines are no small feat of engineering. Both massive and massively productive, copper mines supply much of the world’s copper demand. Currently, the largest copper mine in the world is the Escondida mine in the Atacama Desert of Chile. Last year alone, the Escondida produced one million tonnes of copper, despite the fact that its ores are of a lower grade.

None of the world’s other copper mines were able to come close to the production of Escondida, but their numbers are nevertheless highly impressive in their own right. In second place was the Grasberg mine in Indonesia (550,000 tonnes), in third was the Cerro Verde mine in Peru (522,000 tonnes), in fourth was the Collahuasi mine in Chile (507,000 tonnes) and in fifth was the Morenci mine in the United States (just over 500,000 tonnes).

What is the Value of Copper Recycling in Calgary?

Calgary scrap metal facilities are able to take old copper items and transform them into copper that can once again be used in our houses, cars, and electronics. Recycling copper does not degrade or compromise the metal, meaning that it can be used in all of the same applications as copper which has been newly mined from virgin ore. In fact, the majority of all of the copper ever mined is still in circulation today.

Metal and copper recyclers in Calgary help to reduce our reliance on the virgin ore sourced from copper mines all around the world. This, in turn, helps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the environmental destruction caused by mining.

Copper Recycling in Calgary

As metal recyclers and suppliers in Calgary, a large part of the work we do here at Federal Metals Inc. involves recycling copper. Because copper is such a sought-after metal, you can get good scrap metal prices in Calgary by bringing in items such as copper wire, copper transformers, sealed units, copper yokes, and electric motors.

If you have any more questions about copper or about what we accept at our facility, just contact Federal Metals today.

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