Copper is probably the oldest industrial raw material known to man. It was discovered in association with tin in accessible surface ores by our bronze-age ancestors who found that the alloy produced from these two metals by rudimentary smelting was strong and easily workable to produce weapons, tools and receptacles. Though bronze was later replaced by iron as man’s basic raw material the combined advantages of ready availability, workability, attractive appearance and resistance to corrosion sustained copper’s popularity up to modern times. In the development of uses for the metal, however, the industrial revolution provided the major watershed. The coming of steam power and electricity gave copper a central role in the transfer of energy from solid fuel to electric power, its transmission and subsequent conversion into heat, light and motion — key functions in the industrial society.
KeywordsCopper Production Commodity Trade Export Control Copper Industry Copper Price
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- Prain, Sir R., ‘Copper: The Anatomy of an Industry’ (London: Mining Journal Books Ltd, 1975).Google Scholar
- Butts, A. (ed.), Copper — the Metal, Its Alloys and Compounds (New York: Rheinhold Publishing Corporation, 1954).Google Scholar
- McMahon, A. D., Copper, A Materials Survey (US Department of the Interior, Bureau of Mines, 1965).Google Scholar
- The Metal Bulletin (weekly) (Metal Bulletin Ltd).Google Scholar
- Metals Week (weekly) (McGraw Hill).Google Scholar
- Mining Journal (weekly) (The Mining Journal Ltd).Google Scholar
- Mining Annual Review (The Mining Journal Ltd).Google Scholar
- Engineering and Mining Journal (monthly) (McGraw Hill).Google Scholar
- Warld Metal Statistics (Birmingham: World Bureau of Metal Statistics).Google Scholar