McAfee SECURE sites help keep you safe from identity theft, credit card fraud, spyware, spam, viruses and online scams

Home » Minerals » Copper

Copper


Mineral Properties and Uses



What is Copper?



Native copper is an element and a mineral. It is found in the oxidized zones of copper deposits; in hydrothermal veins; in the cavities of basalt that has been in contact with hydrothermal solutions; and as pore fillings and replacements in conglomerates that have been in contact with hydrothermal solutions. It is rarely found in large quantities, thus it is seldom the primary target of a mining operation. Most copper produced is extracted from sulfide deposits.


Uses of Copper?



Native copper was probably one of the early metals worked by ancient people. Nuggets of the metal could be found in streams in a few areas and its properties allowed it to be easily worked without a required processing step. Today most copper is produced from sulfide ores.

Copper is an excellent conductor of electricity. Most copper mined today is used to conduct electricty - mostly as wiring. It is also an excellent conductor of heat and is used in cooking utensils, heat sinks and heat exchangers. Large amounts are also used to make alloys such as brass (copper and zinc) and bronze (copper, tin and zinc). Copper is also alloyed with precious metals such as gold and silver. Copper has many other uses.


Physical Properties of Copper

Chemical Classification native element
Color copper red on a fresh surface, dull brown on a tarnished surface
Streak matellic copper red
Luster metallic
Diaphaneity opaque
Cleavage none
Mohs Hardness 2.5 to 3
Specific Gravity 8.9
Diagnostic Properties color, luster, specific gravity, malleability, ductility
Chemical Composition copper, Cu
Crystal System isometric
Uses



Find it on Geology.com




More from Geology.com


Fee Mining
Find Minerals and Gems: Dozens of sites where you can dig and keep what you find.
Sunstone: Copper inclusions give this feldspar an aventurescent flash.
US Diamond Mines
US Diamond Mines: Did you know that diamonds can be found in the United States?
Organic Gems
Organic Gems are gems formed from or by plants or animals. They might also be fossils.
Volcanoes
Volcanoes: Articles about volcanoes, volcanic hazards and eruptions past and present.
Sliding Rocks
Sliding Rocks Mystery: What causes these rocks to slide across a Death Valley playa?
Helium
Helium is a byproduct of the natural gas industry. Its most important use is in MRI.
Diamonds
Diamonds: Learn about the properties of diamond, its many uses and diamond discoveries.


Copper
Copper from Bisbee, Arizona. This specimen is approximately 2.5 inches (6.4 centimeters) across.




Mineral Information
 Andalusite
 Anhydrite
 Apatite
 Arsenopyrite
 Augite
 Azurite

 Barite
 Bauxite
 Beryl
 Biotite
 Bornite

 Calcite
 Cassiterite
 Chalcocite
 Chalcopyrite
 Chlorite
 Chromite
 Chrysoberyl
 Cinnabar
 Clinozoisite
 Copper
 Cordierite
 Corundum
 Cuprite
 Diamond
 Diopside
 Dolomite

 Enstatite
 Epidote

 Fluorite

 Galena
 Garnet
 Glauconite
 Gold
 Graphite
 Gypsum

 Halite
 Hematite
 Hornblende

 Ilmenite

 Jadeite

 Kyanite
 Limonite

 Magnesite
 Magnetite
 Malachite
 Marcasite
 Molybdenite
 Monazite
 Muscovite

 Nepheline
 Nephrite

 Olivine
 Orthoclase

 Plagioclase
 Prehnite
 Pyrite
 Pyrophyllite
 Pyrrhotite

 Quartz

 Rhodochrosite
 Rhodonite
 Rutile
 Scapolite
 Serpentine
 Siderite
 Sillimanite
 Silver
 Sodalite
 Sphalerite
 Spinel
 Spodumene
 Staurolite
 Sulfur
 Sylvite

 Talc
 Titanite
 Topaz
 Tourmaline
 Turquoise

 Uraninite

 Witherite
 Wollastonite

 Zircon
 Zoisite


What is Geology?
Rare Earth Elements
San Andreas Fault - Zoom In
Who Owns The Arctic?
Marcellus Shale
Teaching Plate Tectonics with Drawings
Vesuvius
Volcanoes!




© 2005-2014 Geology.com. All Rights Reserved.
Images, code and content of this website are property of Geology.com. Use without permission is prohibited. Pages on this site are protected by Copyscape.