A shiny and reddish-brown metal, copper, is considered the most valuable and profitable metal. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, after iron and aluminum, copper is ranked third most consumed metal in the world. Series of physical processes take place under high temperatures for extraction and purification of copper. Various companies like Solaris Resources are focusing on advancing the portfolio of copper assets.
Significance Of Copper Exploration
Copper is the element that has made our lives easier due to its multiple utilitarian forms. Its qualities include high malleability and ductility, thermal and electrical conductivity, and corrosion resistance. Below we’ve listed the reasons why copper is considered an essential part of society.
- Copper is used for various purposes related to electronics, plumbing, building, construction work, manufacturing health equipment, transportation, and other industrial work. This metal is semi-precious and non-ferrous; that’s why it is used for multiple purposes.
- Due to its electrical conductivity, copper ensures reliable delivery of electricity from the onset of solar panels, wind energy power plants, or other power sources. It even secures distributed energy from large-scale battery storage and facilitates the process when grid power is lower.
- To facilitate the functioning of a cell tower, data centers, and servers, copper equipment is used. The important parts of computers, televisions, radios, are made with the help of copper. Solaris Resources Inc. (TSXV SLS) is a Canadian Mining company operating in the Mining & Metal sector focused on copper exploration to fulfill the growing needs of industries.
- Copper can be used in the form of alloy. Presently, the American Society for Testing and Materials International has listed over 570 copper alloys in their list. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency conceded over 350 alloys out of them, which have antibacterial properties.
- Bronze, a yellowish-brown copper alloy, is even harder than pure iron and copper. It is more resistant to corrosion. Earlier, armors used copper in the manufacturing of weapons and various tools.
- Copper is considered a sustainable material due to its 100% recyclability. It’s a versatile material and characterized by non-carcinogenic or non-mutagenic properties. Under normal conditions, it doesn’t harm the environment.
Processes Of Copper Extraction
Copper extraction refers to the process of obtaining copper from its ore. In Red Chris Mine and other copper mines, the extraction procedure depends on the nature of the ore. The ores only contain a small proportion of copper. Following are steps involved in copper extraction.
- Concentration of Copper
Mainly, copper is found in sulfide ores. The copper pyrite is crushed and powdered, then concentrated by the froth floatation method.
- Roasting of Concentrates
The concentrate is heated in excess of air. The conversion of copper pyrite into copper sulfide and ferrous sulfide takes place.
- Smelting of Roasted Ore
The roasted ore is combined with silica and cooked then heated in a reverberatory furnace. Copper matte is obtained.
Hot air is blown into molten copper matte. The remaining ferrous sulfide is oxidized and removed as slag. It is the final step of smelting.
Copper is known to be the oldest metal known by human beings. The use of copper expanded with the growing needs of people due to its automotive applications and industrial usage. We can say that coppers are the building blocks of our society. Even for a resilient and robust economy, copper production is significant for the nation.