Copper ore
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Copper

Archeological evidences indicate that Copper is one of the first metals that has been used by mankind.  Copper was used to mint coins and make ornaments since 10000 years ago in Middle East.  In prehistoric era human found a way to extract Copper and use it to make instruments. In third and fourth millennium B.C. Spanish people exploited Copper in Huelva area. Greeks people in Aristotle era realized how to make Brass alloy with Copper and Zink. In Medieval, application of Copper extended in China, India and Japan. 

Discovery of Electricity and Magnetism and development of mankind's knowledge in these fields by scientists such as  A. Ampere, M. Faraday and G. Ohm at the end of 18th century, Lead to increase using of Copper in industry.

Although Copper has been used about 10000 years, but innovative application of this material is still expanding.

Iran Copper Ore, Copper Ore

Cupreous objects and alloys were found in different areas of Iran and also remain ancient furnaces which had been used to melt Copper, indicate that Iranians have been familiar with Copper and its applications since far past. The oldest cupreous objects were found in Iran belong to 5th millennium before Christ. 

Now Iran has several large Copper mines such as Sar Cheshmeh, Songun, Midook, Chah Firouzeh, Darrezar, etc. In addition, many of big Copper mines in Iran have many Mineral Processing factories to extract Copper from Copper Ores. Copper Concentrates with high percent of Copper are final productions of this factories.

MGT Mineral Company has a great trading relationship with most of Copper mines and Copper Processing factories, and can perform all necessary actions for exporting their products.

CopperOre producer, Iran CopperOre producer, CopperOre

 

What is Copper Ore?

Copper is a chemical element with symbol Cu. It is a ductile metal with very high thermal and electrical conductivity. Pure Copper is soft and malleable; a freshly exposed surface has a reddish-orange color. It is used as a conductor of heat and electricity, a building material, and a constituent of various metal alloys. Its compounds are commonly encountered as Copper salts, which often impart blue or green colors to minerals such as azurite and have been widely used historically as pigments. Architectural structures built with Copper corrode to give green verdigris (or patina). Decorative art prominently features Copper, both by itself and as part of pigments. These are the most common Copper Ores in nature:

    • Chalcopyrite (CuFeS2, 34.5% Cu)
    • Chalcocite (Cu2S, 79.8% Cu)
    • Covellite (CuS, 66.5% Cu)
    • Bornite (2Cu2S•CuS•FeS, 63.3% Cu)
    • Malachite (CuCO3•Cu(OH)2, 57.3% Cu)
    • Azurite (2CuCO3•Cu(OH)2, 55.1% Cu)
    • Cuprite (Cu2O, 88.8% Cu)

Among mentioned items, Chalcopyrite and Chalcocite are very important. The largest source of Copper is from porphyry ore deposits in which one or a combination of the aforementioned minerals occurs. A typical Copper sulphide ore contains various levels of iron sulphide types that generally include pyrite (FeS2) and Chalcopyrite. Often gold and silver are present which may either be associated with the sulphides or are free. The gangue particles can consist of a range of silicate minerals from quartz to Talc and clays. Carbonate mineral gangue can also be present.

Physical Properties of Chalcopyrite
Cleavage Indiscernible
System Tetragonal
Color Brass yellow to golden yellow; sometimes dark brown to black. Tarnishes to a multicolored purple, blue, and red.
Density 4.1-4.3 g/cm3
Diaphaneity (Transparency) Opaque
Fracture Uneven
Tenacity Brittle
Habit Druse - Crystal growth in a cavity which results in numerous crystal tipped surfaces; Euhedral Crystals - Occurs as well-formed crystals showing good external form; Striated - Parallel lines on crystal surface or cleavage face.
Hardness (Mohs) 3.5 - 4
Luminescence Non-fluorescent
Luster Metallic
Streak Greenish black
Magnetism Nonmagnetic
Geological Setting It is the most abundant Copper -bearing mineral and is widespread. It is a primary mineral in hydrothermal veins, disseminations and massive replacements; the principal Copper mineral of porphyry- Copper deposits.

Chalcopyrite Occurrence

Chalcopyrite occurs as a primary mineral in hydrothermal veins, stockworks, disseminations, and massive replacements, or as an ex-solution product in mafic igneous rocks. It can also be found as a sedimentary origin, controlled by redox conditions. Minerals such as pyrite, tetrahedrite, galena, sphalerite, and some of the Copper sulfides, are closely associated with Chalcopyrite.

Physical Properties of Chalcocite
Cleavage {110} Indistinct
System Monoclinic
Color Blue black, Gray, Black, Black gray, Steel gray
Density 5.5 - 5.8 g/cm3
Diaphaneity (Transparency) Opaque
Fracture Conchoidal - Fractures developed in brittle materials characterized by smoothly curving surfaces, (e.g. quartz).
Tenacity Brittle
Habit Euhedral Crystals - Occurs as well-formed crystals showing good external form; Granular - Generally occurs as anhedral to subhedral crystals in matrix; Massive - Uniformly indistinguishable crystals forming large masses.
Hardness (Mohs) 2.5-3 - Finger Nail-Calcite
Luminescence Non fluorescent
Luster Metallic
Streak Grayish black
Magnetism Nonmagnetic
Geological Setting  

Chalcocite Occurrence

Chalcocite is typically, but not exclusively, formed in the supergene zones of Copper -bearing ore deposits, along with Covellite, Malachite, Cuprite and other secondary Copper minerals. However, it may also occur in some deposits as a primary sulphide. It is a difficult mineral to identify in hand-specimen, as it belongs to a group of Copper sulphides, including digenite and djurleite, which, superficially, all look rather similar. Analytical work is required in order to distinguish them.

 

CopperOre exporter, Iran CopperOre exporter

Economic Classification

Different types of Copper deposits yield different amounts of ore. Strata-bound deposits generally have the highest grades, and porphyries the lowest. The ore grade determines how many tons of ore must be mined in order to produce a ton of Copper. For example, a mine with an ore grade of 0.5 percent must extract 200 tons of ore to produce 1 ton of metal, but an ore running 2.0 percent Copper only requires 50 tones to produce 1 ton of metal. Currently, most of the world’s Copper production comes from ores with an average yield of around 0.79 percent Copper. Resources vary in average ore grade from a low of about 0.46 percent Copper in Papua New Guinea and the Philippines to a high of around 4 percent Copper in Zaire.

Copper Ore Usages

Copper is extracted from Copper ore in Copper processing factories. The usage of Copper can be significantly categorized as below:

  • Industrial Applications: The metal’s high ductility makes it a practical tool for industrial use. It is the third most widely used metal in industries next to aluminum and iron. It is commonly used in shipbuilding. The metal is alloyed with nickel. As cupronickel, it can withstand corrosion. Its high heat dissipation is the reason why Watt’s steam engine firebox is made from it. Liquefied, Copper becomes a wood preservative. It assists in returning a structure to its original form. Objects can be restored even if they are subject to rot.

  • In Communication Sector: Copper products are being used for both long and short-range cables, wires, pipes and links. Copper is also widely used in making of PCB (Printed Circuit Board) for computers and electronic equipments.In Electricity & Energy Sector: Copper is a best conductor of electricity and heat. It can be easily transformed to alloy i.e. combined with another metal to make new alloys like bronze and brass. These alloys are stronger, harder, and resistant to corrosion as compared to pure Copper. 

  • In Plumbing and Heating: Copper tubes are the standard plumbing material for potable water and heating systems. It is a preferred material of professional plumbers and heating engineers.

  • In Transport industry: Copper is used extensively in automobiles, trains and trucks. It is also used in heat transfer devices such as radiators, oil coolers as well as in bronze sleeve bearings.

  • Biological Applications: Other uses of Copper include being a nutrient for animals and plants. Traces of the metal can be found in bone, muscles, liver and tissues. The main purpose of Copper in an organism is serving as an enzyme co-factor. This knowledge isn’t new. The ancients were aware of its antibacterial properties. The Greeks used the metal to cure ulcers and open wounds. Modern medicine applies Copper bracelets to reduce arthritis and joint pains. Its anti-microbial elements assist in producing hygienic surfaces in healthcare institutions. Lack of Copper in people may produce shaggy skin, varicose veins and graying of the hair. This metallic element can help in enhancing the skin’s elastic fiber. With enough copper, hair problems may be avoided.

  • In Coinage: Various countries like European Union, United States, United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand use Copper to make coins.

  • As a fungicide: Copper sulfate is used as a fungicide and for algae control in domestic lakes and ponds. It is used in gardening powders and sprays.

 

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