For many years, companies like Kingman Minerals Ltd. (TSX.V: KGS) have produced copper that is utilized in many sectors, given its many qualities, such as its high electrical and thermal conductivity. In this day and age, roughly half of all the copper produced in the world is an essential for electricity sectors around the globe. Its common use may also be attributed to the fact that copper can be reused for an indefinite amount of time without losing any of its physical or chemical properties. Recycled copper is identical to primary copper and its production uses less energy.
Reusing copper increases its usability as per a report on CopperAlliance.org, which stated that about 75% of copper that was produced from the 1900s is still being used today.
Secondary copper’s ability to keep its electrical conductivity, aids not only in increasing energy efficiency but also uses up less energy, about 85% less, than during first time production, which saves up about 40 million tons of carbon dioxide every year.
To ensure efficiency, renewable energy systems use 12-times more copper as compared to traditional systems. Additionally, many industries use copper to reduce their impact on the environment.
However, to make certain that the raw materials coming into the plant will not be damaging to the product, especially when one is using recycled metals, mobile XRF analyzers are used in plants to assess metals against their paperwork. This ensures that only good quality materials are used to make finished products. In addition to this, XRF analyzers are also used to analyze the finished products before they are dispatched into the supply chain.
Apart from recycling, there are other ways to make the mining of copper more environmentally friendly. A project which studies and discusses its findings on the future of zero emission copper mining, pioneered by the Warren Center for Advanced Engineering at the University of Sydney explores these other options.
The Global Mining Review reported that the project begins a discussion about how copper mining in Australia can evolve into an emission free process in 30 years by the utilization of new technologies.
The article, which was sanctioned by the ICAA, established five features that generate emissions in copper mines that will need to be addressed using advanced technologies so as to enable a decrease and eventually, an elimination of emissions from mines. These five objectives are:
- Water use
- Movement of materials
However, to achieve these advancements, there needs to be an alliance forged between capital enablers, industry networks, policy and programs as well as an open mindset and future knowledge.
Mining industry watchers are interested in seeing what use to keep safety incidents at a bare minimum.
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