Copper is element number 29 on the Periodic Table of Elements. As a mineral it is an essential ingredient of life. It is considered as a semi-precious, nonferrous, malleable metal with hundreds of applications in various sectors. It is also a major industrial metal because of it's various properties like high ductility, malleability, resistance to corrosion and thermal & electrical conductivity. Its use is becoming increasingly important due to its antimicrobial property which has ranked it third after iron & aluminum in terms of quantities consumed in the US.
It has been estimated by the USGS that every American born in 2008 will use around 1300 pounds of copper during his or her life.
Known land based resources of copper are estimated to be 1.6 billion metric tons of copper. Twenty mines in the US account for about 99% of the production. It can be easily alloyed with other metals. Currently, there are more than 570 copper alloys listed with the ASTMI.
Copper is man's oldest metal, dating back more than 10,000 years. Copper is believed to have been used first by Neolithic man as a substitute for stone around 8,000 B.C.
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