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Why is Copper Considered as a Precious Metal?

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by - 3/8/2021 770 Views

Copper has earned a respected place in the fields of architecture, building construction, and interior design.

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Copper is probably considered an essential metal around the world due to its unique properties. One of the important properties is its conductivity, or its ability to conduct electricity (99.9% + conductive). Copper’s high conductivity makes it ideal for electrical purposes. Copper plays a vital role in the renewable energy system and the world's gradual changeover to renewable energy and electric vehicles.

Top 10 Copper Producing Nations

  1. Chile
  2. Peru
  3. China
  4. Democratic Republic of the Congo
  5. United States
  6. Australia
  7. Zambia
  8. Russia
  9. Mexico
  10.  Indonesia

Chile, the world's leading copper producer, produced an estimated 5.7 million metric tons of copper in 2020. In second place is Peru, with an estimated copper mine production of 2.2 million metric tons in the same year. The world's third-largest copper producer from mines is China. In 2020, China produced an estimated 1.7 million metric tons of copper from mines, which is over three times less than Chile's production.

Usages of Copper

Copper has multiple properties, and it is highly beneficial. Every electrical device depends on copper wiring because of its electrical conductivity, tensile strength, ductility, corrosion resistance, low thermal extension, high thermal conductivity, flexibility, ease of installation, etc.

Copper is used in construction, power generation, transmission, electronic product manufacturing, industrial machinery, and vehicles. Basically, all our electronics contain copper, from smartphones to computers, to televisions, to cell phones. Meanwhile, household appliances such as refrigerators, washing machines, dryers, microwaves, and dishwashers all comprise copper wiring. The most important uses of copper are electrical wire (60%), roofing and plumbing (20%), and industrial machinery (15%). A minor part of the copper source is used for nutritional supplements and fungicides in agriculture.

Copper in the Automobile industry

Copper is an important component in the motors, wiring, radiators, connectors, brakes, and bearings used in cars and trucks. Copper is mentioned as a Driving Force behind the Automotive Industry. Copper is widely used in the production of electric vehicles (EVs). It is used in electric motors, batteries, inverters, wiring, and in charging stations. It is well-known that even the basic model contains at least 1 km of electric wiring, which is used to transmit data, guide control signals, and supply electrical power. The average weight of copper in a vehicle ranges from 15 kilos for a small car to 28 kilos for a luxury car. It is hard to think of a vehicle that does not use Copper. As the usage of copper is high, the demand for copper was also increasing.

Copper in Architecture

Copper has earned a respected place in the fields of architecture, building construction, and interior design. From cathedrals to castles and from homes to offices, copper is used in various architectural elements, including roofs, flashings, gutters, downspouts, domes, spires, vaults, wall cladding, and building expansion joints.

The largest end-use for copper is in the building industry. Within the building industry, the use of copper-based materials is broad.

The building industry is the largest single consumer of copper alloy. The following list is an analysis of copper consumption by the industry on an annual basis:

  • Building industry – 47%
  • Electronic products - 23%
  • Transportation - 10%
  • Consumer products - 11%
  • Industrial machinery - 9%

Domestic Electricity

Without copper wires, most electrical work and appliances wouldn’t function in our homes. Their high conductivity properties, tensile strength and resistance to corrosion ensure that they last long. They are commonly found in everyday items, including telephone cables. The typical usages of copper electrical wire at home are mentioned below.

  • Electrical Wiring

Copper is an excellent conductor of electricity, and hence, it is preferred for electrical wiring in underground transmission lines. Since copper isn’t too heavy, it manages to save a lot of space, reduce power losses and can withstand lower cable temperatures. For the transmission of power, copper is installed inside and outside the building. That is why copper wires are used for both power generation and transmission.

  • Telecommunications

Owing to its conductive properties, copper wire is a commonly used material in telecommunications. It is popularly used in the installation of internet Connections.

  • Air Conditioners

Copper has a high heat transfer coefficient, making it a terrific heat exchanger. The best part is copper barely needs replacement as it lasts long. Copper is typically made into a coil and used inside the air conditioner.

  • Security Uses

When it comes to safety, especially taking CCTV cameras into account, the cable types rely on copper plates and wiring for better signal quality, ensuring it works seamlessly for a long time. For CCTV cameras, the copper plate helps in faster transmission of data. Insulated copper wires are also used for better audio purposes.

  • Copper is used in Jewellery and utensils. 

Copper is also used in jewellery and utensils. Since it is nearly 100 percent pure, Copper is known to battle bacteria, fungi and other living organisms. They act as allergens and are typically used for hygienic purposes, especially in hospitals. Moreover, copper jewellery is fashionable and is safe to wear, as they are generally stylish. Electric copper has fewer impurities when compared to metallic copper, so using it for jewellery and aesthetic reasons such as lighting (for fairy lights) is a popular choice. Storing water in copper bottles is said to improve one’s immunity and have healing properties. According to various Ayurvedic texts, even copper utensils are the best materials to transmit energy and make water more positively charged.


Copper is advantageous in many industries and also able to be recycled over and over. Therefore it is a key component of renewable energy systems. It is unimaginable to live a life without Copper because it is used in our daily electrical appliances. From the usage of copper, it is clearly understandable that COPPER IS A PRECIOUS METAL.

Category : Copper

Tags : Copper, Copper Prices, Copper Uses

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About Jenisha Rajakumar

I'M a Research Analyst and Content Creator at RIM. Currently I'm researching on Copper Prices around the Globe and the impacts on Copper Scrap Prices with regard to COMEX, LME, SHFE and .... more info


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