Being the most important metal in the world and its various uses, copper is in dynamic demand around the world. We all know the excellent properties of copper and how it is the best suitable metal present out there for appliances and various daily use equipment. But where the copper comes from and how it is used is something of interest.
Following are the ways through which the copper is mined and brought to the market.
Ways Of Mining Copper
Copper can be mined using various ways but that mostly depends upon the surface placement of the copper, and for which purpose you are going to use the copper.
The four methods that can be used to mine copper based on the copper placements areas:
- Surface Mines
These mines are mostly used for mining the copper that is going to be used for less valuable products. This type of mining is also called open-pit mining and is done at the places like Warintza central areas where the Warintza project is going.
- Placer Mining
Placer mining is used for areas where you have to work with water. This mining technique is used to sift off the sediment or sand when looking for metals under the water or beaches.
- Underground Mining
As the name suggests underground mining is for deposits that are deep under the rocks of the earth. This is a bit of an expensive way and high quality and technology equipment is used to reach the deeper surfaces.
- In Situ Mining
This is comparatively a trick technique but is effective as you do not need to go deep but with some process, the metal is processed at the surface.
Two Ways Through Which Copper Mining Is Done
Now as we have discussed the way copper can be mined, now we will discuss the most common and effective ways through which copper is mined. Following are the two most effective ways through which copper is mined:
Underground Mining: As we mentioned earlier, underground mining is mostly done when the metal or any ore going to mine is deep in the ground. In this process, a sinking shaft is used to drill the ground to the appropriate levels. And then the audits are created. This way of mining is relatively quite expensive and is limited to areas where a great number of ore is present.
Open-pit Mining: Open pit mining is done where the ore bodies are present relatively close to the earth’s surface. At this level, the ore bodies are mostly low-grade and easy to remove. This type of mining is frequently done in Chile where the largest copper mine is present or at the Warintza project.
Steps Of the Copper Production Process
After the extraction from the ground, copper undergoes rigorous processes so that it can be converted into its real pure form. Following are the processes that copper undergoes:
- The ore is crushed into thin fine pieces so that no bigger chunks are left.
- After that, a copper slurry is made. Through this slurry, the copper particles are removed with the help of the floating process.
- After that, the roasting process takes place where copper is changed from sulfides to oxide.
- After that, this mixture is converted into the thick copper concentrates that are smelted after and changed into the anode slabs.
- These anode slabs are then further electrolyzed to give you 99 percent pure copper removing all the impurities.