Copper is one of the most crucial metals, copper’s growth is predicted to climb rapidly as the metal’s use has increased. The reddish-golden metal is being widely used in motors, batteries, and a variety of other purposes that affect electrical systems.
Copper is found in the earth’s crust, oceans, lakes, and rivers, and its sources range from small trace levels to large mine deposits. While this highly beneficial metal is serving as a backbone for the global economy, certain facts about the metal’s exploration are worth looking at.
- South America produces the most copper.
Copper mining is dominated by two South American countries, as consumption of the metal is likely to increase rapidly in the future years. According to Statista’s copper production by the country report, Chile leads the list. This extensive rise in demand for copper is forcing companies like Solaris Resources to take necessary measures for increasing their copper production.
By far, the world’s top copper producer will produce an anticipated 5.7 million metric tonnes of copper in 2020. Peru is in second place, with a projected mining production of 2.2 million metric tonnes in the same year.
- Where there is copper, there is gold.
As a byproduct, most copper mines create gold (and silver). In reality, the mine which produces the most gold each year is a copper mine. Every year, the Grasberg Mine in Papua, Indonesia, produces 500,000 tonnes of copper and a million ounces of gold.
The gold-to-copper ratio varies highly depending on the mining. Chile’s largest copper mine, Escondida, produces approximately 1.2 million tonnes of copper and 300,000 ounces of gold every year.
- Copper exploration can take up to two to eight years to complete.
Exploration for high-demand metal can take two to eight years and cost between $500,000 and $15 million. Although many mines have been operating for more than 100 years, the extraction stage might take 5-30 years to complete and can cost anything from a few million dollars to hundreds of millions of dollars per year, depending on the location and size of the mine.
- A scarce resource and ever-increasing demand.
Global demand for refined copper has climbed by more than 250 percent since the mid-1960s (from 5 to 20 million tonnes). The world is expected to face a shortage of metal that is widely regarded as important for the world economy.
Ensuring that enough copper is accessible to fulfill future business and public needs will need greater levels of recovery and recycling and significant expenditures in mining production. That’s why Solaris Resources Inc is spending a considerable amount of money on developing its Warintza project in Ecuador to explore copper.
- Exploration’s more challenging than ever.
Increasing copper prices are closely linked to increased exploration spending, and the two have repeatedly claimed a strong connection. A flurry of recent-year finds has arrived at a period of significant spending, resulting in an increased cost-per-discovery for exploration investment.
Only a few discoveries will make it to the manufacturing stage: Only around half of all significant copper deposits, on average just 50%-60%, that are discovered will be developed.