The word copper is derived from “coprum”, the latin name of the isle of Cyprus. Discovered in prehistoric times copper is said to have been extracted more than 5.000 years ago. Native copper is found rarely. The metal occurs in many minerals such as cuprite, malachite, azurite, chalcopyrite and bornite. Large deposits are found in the USA, Chile, Zaire, Peru and Canada.
Copper is ductile, workable in cold state and has very good thermal and electrical conductivity (electrical conductivity is second to silver). The electrical industry is the most important copper consumer.