Like all metals, copper is used by man, but not consumed. Unlike other types of metals, copper can be easily isolated from alloys because of its smelting characteristics. Throughout the purification process, copper does not deteriorate and remains virtially free of impurities. Copper is, therefore, endlessly re-usable.
The copper industry rests on two pillars; mining and recycling. Mined copper is initially classified as primary extraction and then later, with reuse, as secondary extraction.
- Primary Extraction, from ore up to a cathode of 99,99+ % purity.
- Secondary Extraction, from scrap metal of varying quality up to a cathode of 99,99+ % purity.
Information on the ecobalance (LifeCycle) of copper and copper alloys are also found on this website. On behalf of the worldwide Copper Alliance, the Deutsche Kupferinstitut compiles current industry data and makes the findings available to all.