Copper has helped shape human civilization since its discovery nearly 10,000 years ago. Now, it has formed the backbone of many industries, being present in the tallest buildings to the most minute circuit parts. Second only to aluminum, this base metal is currently worth hundreds of billions every year, with world usage totaling to over 20 million tons annually.
Identifying Copper Reserves
The US Geological Survey (USGS) is tasked to evaluate areas in the country which can potentially contain high deposits of copper. Imaging techniques and other analyses help these experts determine the areas beneath the earth’s crust that may be tapped for future copper mining. At present, millions of tons of copper have been identified as reserves within sedimentary deposits and in volcanic rock formations across the country.
Ensuring that Supplies Are Enough
As experts predict that annual usage of copper will increase by 4 to 5% per year, it is just as important to mobilize programs that will ensure the adequate supply of this metal. Apart from constantly monitoring and searching for viable sources of copper, the authorities in the US and other nations work hand in hand to protect these resources, tapping them only as needed. In the US alone, the USGS reports that nearly 290 million tons of copper remains undiscovered.
Furthermore, recycling has become essential not only in managing waste, but in conserving the world’s copper supply. Nearly one-third of all the copper and copper alloys being used in transportation, construction, electronics, and other facets of industry are derived from recycled and refined scrap metal. A responsible copper sheet supplier, besides offering clients high-quality materials, should also inform them about the importance of recycling scrap metal, too.