Copper is one of the important metals that people have used for various purposes since ancient times and is among the basic raw materials of the industry today. The reason why copper plays an important role in the industry and can be used in various sectors is that it has very different properties. Among the important properties of copper, high electrical and heat conductivity, resistance to corrosion, wire drawing, and its stainless feature can be counted. Besides, copper alloys have many different applications in the industry. Being the most important material required for electricity generation and conduction, which has been used since the second half of the 19th century, has increased the importance and need for copper.
Copper Applications in Different Sectors
Due to its superior physical and chemical properties, copper is widely used in the industry. Applications of copper according to the sectors can be listed as the electrical and electronic industry, construction industry, transportation industry, industrial hardware, military and other industries, chemistry, jewelry, and souvenir sector. Products that can be used instead of copper are aluminum, fiber optics, plastic pipes, and some metal alloys in special cases.
Due to economic developments in the world, high living standards, increasing developments in electricity, electronics, and industry have increased the need for copper even more. Although there are improvements in the replacement materials to be used in the coming years, it is thought that the need for copper will continue to increase.
Copper Reserves Around the World
Copper is commonly used for a range of uses, so its use is very high across the world. This demand places significant pressure on the world’s copper supplies, which many analysts say are diminishing. Copper, on the other hand, is entirely recyclable, and a significant part of the copper mined in history is currently in use.
Chile, with 200 million metric tons (MT) of copper reserves as of 2020, has the world’s greatest copper reserves. It is also the world’s biggest copper producer, with mined copper totaling 5.7 million metric tons in 2020. Peru (92 million MT), Australia (88 million MT), Russia, (61 million MT) and Mexico (53 million MT) also have the largest copper reserves in the world, after Chile. In our country, copper reserves are very limited. For this reason, most of the copper needs are met through imports. However, thanks to the ongoing exploration work and studies done on this field, the copper reserve of Turkey is expected to increase in the coming years.