Basics of Copper Mining Process

  


In our daily routine, we encounter several things which are made of copper. Wires, coins, ornaments, cookware, rods, etc., are all made of copper. Have you ever thought about where this copper comes from? This copper comes from mining; yes, you heard right. It comes from mining. In ancient days copper mining by hand was a laborious task, so it was hard to get the copper into large quantities for production. Nowadays, due to advancements in mining equipment and technologies, you can get them in large quantities. Companies like Solaris Resources inc are doing an excellent job in this matter.

Copper Mining Process

Copper ore passes almost eight stages before making a final product. So yes, it's a complicated process, and you can’t use copper ore just right after the mining. For more details about the copper mining process, you can read and learn from  Solaris Resources.

Mining

Copper is present in natural ore deposits. This ore is removed in two ways, either from the ground in an open pit or the underground mining process. The open-pit is a quite common method of extraction, and almost ninety percent of ore is mined through this method. On the other hand, the second method, the vertical shaft, is sunk into the earth to reach the copper. Thus, the mining procedure depends upon the location and presence of ore on the earth.

Grinding

After mining, now you have ore that has enough metal. The copper ore is crushed and ground into powder form for further processing.

Concentrating

In simple words, concentrating is the process of removal of unwanted material from the ore. During this process, the gangue sinks to the bottom and is finally removed from the ore. 

Roasting

As the name denotes, roasting deals with enriched ore and high temperatures. Enriched ore is heated at high temperatures to remove sulfur. After the removal of sulfur, calcine is obtained.

Smelting

Calcine is rock hard, so the addition of flux makes melting easy. At very high temperatures, almost 1200 calcine is smelted in an electric-arc furnace.


Conversion

Air is blown to smelted copper. This air made blistered copper. This blister copper contains almost 98% to 99.5% copper.

Anode Casting

In this process, copper is cast in anodes. Its shape and size depends upon the particular electrolytic refinery.

Electro-Refining

 After electrorefining, copper is almost ninety-nine percent in refined form. Different mining companies use different tools, equipment, and techniques for each step of copper mining. Leaching is another complex and time-consuming process alternative to copper mining. Both leaching and mining produce cathode cooper ( 99.9 percent pure copper). For more insight look at Peter Munk.


Final Thoughts

I hope now you have a better understanding of how copper is extracted from its ore after a complicated process. This copper is converted into pure metal to make final products. Moreover, now you would look at copper final products/goods with a different perspective in your daily life. Copper recycling is also getting popular because copper can last centuries.




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