Copper is considered to be one of the first metals to be used by humans. The main reason for its early discovery and use is that copper can naturally occur in relatively pure forms. It is extracted from oxide and sulfide ores. The refining techniques employed by copper producers depend on the ore type, as well as other economic and environmental factors. Currently, about 80% of global copper production is extracted from sulfide sources.

Copper and its alloys are employed in a numerous of end-uses from common household electrical wiring to boat propellers and from photovoltaic cells to saxophones. This use of the metal’s in a wide range of main industries resulted in the investment community to take copper prices as an economic indicator.