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Why is copper important?

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Quick Answer

Copper is important because it plays a role in green energy, technology and the economy. Copper is used to help create hybrid vehicles, mobile phones and tablet computers.

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Children born in 2014 are likely to use 1,750 pounds of copper during their lifetimes for transportation, housing, consumer items and electrical purposes. Copper commonly comes from minerals such as cuprite, azurite, chalcopyrite, bornite and malachite. Copper is soft and able to transmit electricity and heat very effectively. It can't really be damaged by water and is widely used in construction. Because bacteria can't grow on it, copper is also used in hospitals.

During the Stone Age and Copper Age, copper was used for tools and jewelry. In 3000 B.C., it was mixed with metals such as tin to form alloy bronze. As time went on, it was thought that the amount of copper used in a country showed how technologically advanced the country was. Because it can be recycled, it is a very valuable resource. Nearly one trillion pounds of copper have been used for a wide variety of purposes since the beginning of human history. Almost all of it is still in use because copper is so easy to recycle.

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