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COPPER

  • Copper
  • Mines Producing Copper

Copper is a highly conductive metal that's found to be useful in many applications. Some of these being:
- Kitchen pot bases ( to evenly distribute heat from the stove to the pot or pan)
- Coins (usually as copper alloys)
- Copper roofing and guttering ( this is quite expensive and only used for this purpose in specific projects)
- Piping in your house (many of these pipes are being replaced with plactic but your hot water pipes remain copper).
- Electrical wiring in your house, car, speakers, chargers etc. as well as your fixed line telephone that connects your computer to a router to allow your WiFi to operate
- Heat transfer units in your fridge and air conditioner
- Copper sheets. Commonly used to protect wooden boats from barnacle damage

Put simply, copper is not just one of the world's most abundant metals, it also has many uses that has been essential to allow early technology to progress, as well as for further advancement into the future.
Copper is also quite poisonous if used in strong concentrations yet it's a necessary trace element that's essential for both plant and animal life to be able to exist. For these reasons copper is useful as a fungicide as well as a medicine.


Copper as an Alloy With Other Metals
Copper, these days, is primarily found through hard rock mining. It's become rare to find it in its more natural state as a soft malleable metal. Mining companies extract copper from crushed ore containing the metal, it's then separated and smelted. Much of the copper produced is used as an alloy, meaning it's mixed with other metals producing products such as:
- Bronze (an alloy of copper and tin)
- Brass (copper and zinc)
- Rose Gold (copper and gold)
- Gunmetal ( a form of bronze but includes an alloy of copper, zinc and tin that's used in gun making)


Copper is Fully Recyclable
Much like aluminium and iron, copper is 100 percent recyclable. This means it can be reused over and over without losing any of its properties. It's been estimated that over 80 percent of copper ever mined throughot the ages is still being used today, A recent report issued by the International Resource Panel entitled, 'Metal Stocks in Society,' stated the per capita stock of copper globally is between 35 and 55 kilograms. Most of this stock is in developed countries with 140 to 300 kilograms per capita as against the under-developed countries with between 30 and 40 kilograms per capita.


Recycling copper involves much the same process as that used by copper miners except that the mining steps are eliminated. Scrap copper is collected and melted down in a furnace much the same as the original ore was smelted in a smelter.


Most Copper is Still Used in Wiring
More than 60 percent of the copper manufactured today is still used as copper wiring. Plumbing uses for piping and roofing materials takes up 20 percent and a further 15 percent is used in industry for machinery. Uses in different alloys to increase it's hardness takes up the remaining five percent. Smaller amounts are used as nutrients in tablet form and in fungicides to control weeds in the agricultural industry.


Copper Deposits Widespread Throughout Australia
Copper mining is widespread throughout Australia with large mines operating in most states. Queensland and South Australia have the largest deposits but substantial mines also operate in New South Wales, Western Australia and the west coast of Tasmania.
 

Australian Mines that produce Copper

Broken Hill Rasp Mine ( NSW )

The Broken Hill-Rasp Mine , a zinc,lead and silver underground mine at Broken hill in New South Wales was opened in July 2012 by the Toho Zinc Company.

Csa ( NSW )

CSA workers in NSW unperturbed when Cobar Mine Management cancelled the Macmahon contract to develop the deepest production mine shaft in Australia.

Cadia ( NSW )

The Cadia Hill gold mine in central New South Wales is part of the Cadia Valley group of gold mines belonging to global miner Newcrest Mining Limited.

Endeavor ( NSW )

The Endeavor Mine at Cobar in New South Wales is owned by CBH Resources Limited, a fully owned subsidiary of the Japanese Toho Zinc Company Limited.

Northparkes ( NSW )

Northparkes, a gold and copper mine located 27 kilometres from Parkes in Central West New South Wales.

Ridgeway ( NSW )

The Ridgeway gold mine near Orange in New South Wales is one of the largest underground gold mines in Australia and one of most efficient in the world.

The Peak ( NSW )

Peak Mines at Cobar in New South Wales is a group of five gold and copper underground mines owned by Canadian mining company New Gold Incorporated.

Woodlawn Mine ( NSW )

The NSW Government has approved the re-opening of the Woodlawn copper, zinc, lead and gold mine at Tarago, near Goulburn, after 15 years of closure.

Browns ( NT )

The Browns mine near Batchelor in Northern Territory remains on care and maintenance while owner HNC (Australia) Resources Pty Ltd assess viability.

Mcarthur River ( NT )

The GlencoreXstrata owned McArthur River zinc, lead and silver mine in the Northern Territory is mining one of the world's largest lead and zinc deposits.

Peko ( NT )

The Peko Rehabilitation Project is presently placed under care and maintenance but it still holds out hope of having a future when ore prices rise again.

Redbank ( NT )

Historic environmental problems create worries for Redbank directors before they can restart the Redbank copper mine in the Northern Territory.

Balcooma ( QLD )

The Balcooma Mine in Queensland has been sold to Snow Peak Mining and its subsidiary Consolidated Tin after going into administration in 2012.

Dry River South ( QLD )

The Dry River South Mine in the Queensland Central Region has passed hands from its former owner Kagara Limited to Chinese company Snow Peak Mining Pty Ltd.

Ernest Henry ( QLD )

The Ernest Henry mine at Cloncurry is named after 1886 explorer and prospector of the same name, who, with property owner Roger Sheaffe, discovered the rich orebody.

George Fisher ( QLD )

The George Fisher Mine at Mount Isa in Northern Queensland is a major participant of Mount Isa Mines (MIM) that is owned by global miner GlencoreXstrata.

Lady Annie ( QLD )

The Lady Annie open pit copper mine in Queensland uses solvent extraction with heap leach and electro-winning methods to produce A Grade copper cathodes.

Mammoth ( QLD )

The Mammoth underground copper mine in Queensland was placed on care and maintenance in 2009. Now re-commissioned it is once again a top copper producer.

Mt Cuthbert ( QLD )

The Mount Cuthbert Mine in Queensland remains on care and maintenance while it awaits sale to an undisclosed buyer due for finalisation in March 2013

Mt Garnet ( QLD )

The Mount Garnet mining operation in North Queensland is given hope of survival after being acquired by Snow Peak International from the collapsed Kagara.

Mt Gordon ( QLD )

Mining operations have been suspended at the Indian owned Mount Gordon copper mine in Queensland that has been placed on sale by Aditya Birla Minerals.

Mt Isa Cu Orebodies ( QLD )

Mount Isa (Cu orebodies) involve two underground copper mines, the X41 and Enterprise, they produce 6.2 million tonnes of copper ore a year.

Mt Isa Pb Zn Ag Orebodies ( QLD )

The Mount Isa silver, zinc, lead and copper mine in North West Queensland is part of the giant Glencore Xstrata global mining company.

Mungana ( QLD )

The troubled Mungana base metal mine in North Queensland currently remains in voluntary administration while its future is being decided.

Osborne ( QLD )

The Osborne copper and gold mine in Queensland is now owned by Shanxi Donghhui Coal Coking and Chemicals Group Co. Limited of China.

Tartana ( QLD )

The Tartana copper mine is an old but small mining operation situated north west of Chillagoe in north Queensland.

Cairn Hill ( SA )

The Cairn Hill, iron, copper and gold mine, 55 kilometres from Coober Pedy in South Australia, commenced production in December 2010.

Mountain Of Light ( SA )

Mountain of Light copper mine in South Australia remains on care and maintenance while evaluations are conducted regarding its economic future.

Olympic Dam ( SA )

Although Olympic Dam at Roxby Downs in South Australia is widely known for its production of uranium it is also a large copper, gold and silver mine.

Prominent Hill ( SA )

Prominent Hill in South Australia produces some of the highest grade copper concentrate in the world. It is sought after by smelters in Europe and Asia.

Hellyer ( TAS )

The Hellyer lead-zinc-copper mine in Western Tasmania commenced production in 1989 and closed in 2000 when economically available ore reserves were exhausted.

Mount Lyell ( TAS )

The Mount Lyell Mining Company Limited that was founded in 1883 began production in 1896 making it the oldest continuously operating mine in Australia.

Que River ( TAS )

The Que River open cut mine on the West Coast of Tasmania, that is owned by Bass Metals Limited, is currently not operating.

Renison Bell ( TAS )

The Renison Bell tin mine in Tasmania is the only major tin project in Australia and one of the few tin projects in the world that is publicly owned.

Rosebery ( TAS )

The concentrator at the Rosebery Mine in Tasmania has been in continuous operation for 75 years, creating its own piece of Australian mining history.

Alec Mairs ( WA )

The Alec Mairs nickel mine near Leinster in Western Australia has been put on care and maintenance along with the other Cosmos operations.

Boddington ( WA )

The Boddington open pit mine in Western Australia that was re-opened on February 3, 2010 promises to become the largest gold mine in Australia.

Carnilya Hill ( WA )

Mining at the Carnilya Hill underground nickel mine at Kambalda in the Western Australia Eastern Goldfields ceased in March 2012.

Golden Grove ( WA )

The Golden Grove Mine in Western Australia consists of the Gossan Hill and Scuddles mines. The operation is located 280 kilometres of Geraldton.

Gossan Hill ( WA )

The Gossan Hill underground mine, located 280 kilometres east of Geraldton in W.A., is part of the Golden Grove operation that includes the Scuddles Mine.

Jaguar ( WA )

The Jaguar copper, zinc and silver mine in Western Australia was fully acquired by Independence Group NL in 2011 with its takeover of Jabiru Metals Limited.

Lanfranchi ( WA )

Run of mine (ROM) ore mined at the Lanfranchi underground mine in Western Australia is delivered to BHP Billiton Nickel West Concentrator at Kambalda.

Long ( WA )

The Long nickel mine at Kambalda in Western Australia is owned by Independence Gold. It has the second largest nickel deposit in the region.

Lounge Lizard Nickel ( WA )

Lounge Lizard Nickel mine managing company, Western Areas Limited, purchased the mine from Kagara and added it to its Western Australia Forrestania resource.

Mariners ( WA )

Mariners mine is in the middle of Lake Zot. A flood filled the lake wrecking drilling equipment during its discovery. This led to the name, Mariners.

Miitel ( WA )

The Miitel nickel mine in W.A. was acquired by Mincor from WMC Resources in 2001 and in the next 11 years had produced 2.03 million tonnes of ore.

Mt Keith ( WA )

The Mount Keith nickel mine in W.A. is a member of the BHP Billiton Group. It is located 460 kilometres north of Kalgoorlie in the Northern Goldfields.

Nifty ( WA )

The Nifty underground copper mine in Western Australia's Pilbara is one of the world's largest underground copper mines to be commissioned this decade.

Perseverance ( WA )

The Perseverance nickel mine near Leinster in Western Australia was closed by BHP Billiton Nickel West in December 2013 for being no longer safe to operate.

Savannah ( WA )

The Savannah copper, nickel and cobalt underground mine 240 kilometres south of Kununurra in Western Australia is owned by Panoramic Resources.

Telfer ( WA )

Construction for the new mining operation at Telfer in W.A. began in 2003 with open pit production starting in 2004 and underground mining in 2006.

Victor ( WA )

Decline access was obtained to reach the W.A. Victor nickel deposit from the Long underground mine in 1992 when the mine was owned by WMC Resources.

Whim Creek ( WA )

The Whim Creek Copper Project that is wholly owned by Venturex Resources Limited is located midway between Port Hedland and Karratha in Western Australia.

Whundo ( WA )

Copper mining at Whundo goes as far back as 1911, on a stop start basis. This is continuing as the current operation is placed on care and maintenance.

Cosmos ( WA )

The Cosmos mine in central Western Australia was placed under care and maintenance in September 2012

Chesney ( NSW )

The Chesney underground mine in Cobar, NSW, is a major component of the Peak Gold Mine operation that is made up of five working mines owned by New Gold Inc.

North East Larsons ( NSW )

North East-Larsons satellite mining operations in the Girilambone Complex 15 kilometres from Hermidale in NSW has been subjected to many ups and downs.

Degrussa ( WA )

The DeGrussa copper, gold & silver mining operation began production in early 2012 and is presently building production to between 70 and 80 thousand tonnes of copper and 36,000 ounces of gold a year.

Mineral Hill ( NSW )

The Mineral Hill copper mine at Condobolin in the Cobar Basin of Central NSW, is owned by KBL Mining. It also a produces lead, zinc, silver and gold.

New Cobar ( NSW )

The New Cobar underground gold deposit is reached via access from the Fort Bourke open cut mine at Cobar in outback NSW between Nyngan and Wilcannia.

New Occidental ( NSW )

The New Occidental gold mine at Cobar in NSW has experienced many ups and down for over 100 years. It was last reopened in 2001 by Peak Gold Mines.

Nyngan ( NSW )

Local accommodation built to house workers at the Tritton copper mine at Nyngan in NSW in 2009 cut costs incurred with a previous fly-in-fly-out policy.

Baal Gammon ( QLD )

The troubled Baal Gammon mine near Herberton in Queensland's Tablelands could have a future under Chinese miner Snow Peak through Consolidated Tin.

Broken Hill ( NSW )

The owner of the NSW Broken Hill Mine, Perilya, is about to be wholly acquired by its largest shareholder Zhongjin Lingnan of the Republic of China.

Black Star ( QLD )

The Black Star open pit mine at Mt Isa in northern Queensland, that is owned by Glencore Xstrata, began production in 2005 and has a life of mine to 2016.

Cobar ( NSW )

CSA workers in NSW unperturbed when Cobar Mine Management cancelled the Macmahon contract to develop the deepest production mine shaft in Australia.

Perserverance Nsw ( NSW )

The Perseverance underground copper and gold mine near Cobar in New South Wales has the largest high grade gold resource of all the Peak Gold Mine deposits.

Mt Windsor ( QLD )

The Mt Windsor base metals project in northern Queensland comprises several mining tenements south of Charters Towers that are highly prospective.

Mt Carlton ( QLD )

The Mt Carlton mine located near Townsville in Queensland, that is owned and operated by Evolution Mining, began commercial production in July 2013.

Leinster ( WA )

Leinster provides work and modern accommodation for BHP Billiton's Nickel West permanent and FIFO work force.

Yandera ( PNG )

The Yandera copper, molybdenum and gold project in Papua New Guinea is on target to develop the largest such deposit in the South West Pacific by 2016.

Grasberg ( PNG )

A Grasberg mine tunnel collapse in Papua in 2013 and subsequent stoppage has effected underground expansion plans to take operations beyond 2021.

Yuinmery ( WA )

The Yuinmery gold and copper project in Western Australia is boosted with its close proximity to the Just Desserts deposit and other nearby resources.

Rocklands ( QLD )

The new Rocklands Group Copper Project ore processing plant is one of the best in the world.

Hillside ( SA )

Rex Minerals are progressing the Hillside Copper Project planned for the Yorke Peninsula in South Australia with construction planned for 2015.

Kulthor ( QLD )

The Kulthor underground copper and gold mine near Cloncurry in north west Queensland is the last of the three Osborne mines to remain productive.

Wafi Golpu ( PNG )

The development of the Wafi-Golpu gold and copper mining project in the Morobe Province of Papua New Guinea is proceeding on schedule.

Kanmantoo ( SA )

The Kanmantoo Copper Mine in the Adelaide Hills in South Australia is located in a populated area with workers housed in surrounding towns.

Mutooroo ( SA )

The Mutooroo copper deposit in South Australia contains over 30 percent sulphur which can be processed to produce badly needed sulphuric acid and electricity.

Sulphur Springs ( WA )

The Sulphur Springs underground copper mine is being developed in Western Australia by VentureX Resources Limited.

White Range ( QLD )

The White Range Copper Project in north west Queensland, near Cloncurry, is owned by Chinese controlled, Queensland Mining Corporation (QMC).

Frieda River ( PNG )

The Frieda River Copper and Gold Project being developed in Papua New Guinea is progressing with PanAust Limited as its major interest partner.

Solwara 1 ( PNG )

The Solwara 1 Project, in Papua New Guinea, is to be the first deep sea mine of any resource to be developed in the Pacific Ocean.

Panguna ( PNG )

The re-opening of the Panguna open cut copper and gold mine on Bougainville Island in Papua New Guinea once again looks like being a near term possibility.

Ok Tedi ( PNG )

The life of the Ok Tedi gold, silver and copper mine in Papua New Guinea has been extended to at least 2025 following its acquisition by the Papua New Guinea Government.

Star Mountains ( PNG )

The Star Mountains Copper and Gold Mining Project in Papua New Guinea, owned by Highlands Pacific, attracts Anglo American as a joint venture partner.

Leichardt Copper ( QLD )

The Leichardt Copper project in north west Queensland that includes the Mt Cuthbert and Mt Watson copper mines has recommenced production under Malaco Mining.

Deflector ( WA )

The Deflection gold, silver and copper mine in the Southern Murchison Region of Western Australia is to be Doray Minerals Limited's second high grade mining operation.

Red Hill ( NSW )

The Red Hill Mine located near Broken Hill in New South Wales, that closed in 1937, could once again become productive with the mining of Platinium Group Emements (PGE's).

Mount Morgan ( QLD )

Carbine Resources Limited readying itself to re-start mining of Mount Morgan tailings at the historic Mount Morgan mine in Queensland.

Hera Nymagee ( NSW )

The Hera-Nymagee mine, south east of Cobar in New South Wales, includes the Hera gold mine and the Nymagee copper mine.

Kempfield ( NSW )

The Kempfield polymetallic project in New South Wales is ready waiting for precious metals prices to recover before it progresses into the production stage.

West Musgrave Project ( WA )

The West Musgrave base metal project in eastern Western Australia, is regarded by some as being the last mineral exploration frontier in Australia.

Great Southern Kundip Polymetallic Project ( WA )

The Great Southern Polymetallic Project that is located in the southeast of Western Australia is subject to a Farm - In and Joint Venture arrangement between Silver Lake and ACH Minerals.

Yeneena ( WA )

The Yeneena base metal project in the east Pilbara region of Western Australia is being developed by Encounter Resources Limited with the assistance of farm-in agreements.

Citadel Project ( WA )

The Citadel Project in the Great Sandy Desert region of Western Australia has attracted Rio Tinto to form a Joint Venture partnership with Antipa Minerals.

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