Copper is obtained through mining processes from copper-bearing ores such as bornite, cuprite, covellite, tenorite, chalcocite and malachite. Much of the copper mined today comes from copper ore rich deposits in countries like Canada, the United States, Zaire, Chile, Peru and Zambia. The extraction and refining of copper date back to ancient times and have been in use by humans for the last 11,000 years.
Copper is used to make jewelry, coins, electrical wire, water pipes, armaments, tools, decorative items, containers and many other items used in everyday life. Copper is a solid metal element at room temperature that gets its name from the Latin word cuprum, which translates to "from the island of Cyprus." The element copper is assigned the atomic number 29, group number 11 and period number 4 on the periodic table of elements.