Copper Producers Start Paying Attention to ‘Urban Mining’

For years now, manufacturers have been recycling and reusing copper. The International Copper Association estimates that roughly two-thirds of all the copper produced over the last century is still in use. The metal has been used in home appliances and electrical systems, among other applications. With experts forecasting that the need for the red metal will almost double come 2035, the need to increase these efforts is growing.

Experts expect that the increased demand for the metal will be partly driven by the shift to renewable energy use, with some adding that the manufacture of cell phones as well as the construction of data centers and buildings would also add the increased demand.

Nexans, a French company, owns a factory near Montreal focused on recycling copper. Currently, the company is one of the largest cable and wire manufacturers globally. In the factory, copper sheets are melted in a hot furnace, with the liquid copper being shaped into rods, which are needed to make copper wire.

Nexans’ factory has made copper rods from copper ore for almost a century now, with the amount of used copper it processes increasing. About 14% of the rods currently produced by the company are made from recycled metal. The company hopes to grow this figure to 20%, with its chief, Christopher Guérin, encouraging more clients to bring their scrap back to the company. He explained that copper could be recycled constantly and still not lose its performance or value, which makes it an ideal candidate for reuse.

Every day, about 10 trucks bring copper scrap, cable and wire to the Nexans factory with the company estimating that annually, it uses more than 2,500 times the weight of the Statue of Liberty. Some of this scrap comes from scrap dealers and clients, with the company emphasizing that for copper to be used to ferry electricity, its purity must be high.

Every ton of copper recycled eliminates the need to mine almost 200 tons of copper ore. This is crucial, particularly because mining can pollute the water, soil and air.

Some factories have had to reduce their production of copper or even shut down because the price of electricity was too high. These reductions in production and closures have only added to copper’s demand.

That growing demand could partially be met as exploration companies such as Arizona Metals Corp. (TSX: AMC) (OTCQX: AZMCF) unearth new viable deposits that are developed to production levels.

NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Arizona Metals Corp. (TSX: AMC) (OTCQX: AZMCF) are available in the company’s newsroom at

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