The copper industry is a major contributor to the global economy. Copper is more than just a mined metal; it provides jobs and promotes of a higher standard of living. One tonne of copper brings functionality in 40 cars, powers 60,000 mobile phones, enables operations in 400 computers, and distributes electricity to 30 homes.
Copper has an important role to play in addressing issues critical to society. These include contributions to food supply, infrastructure, CO2 reduction and sustainable development. The copper industry works to engage employees, communities and governments in addressing the challenges encountered in providing essential materials for society. International Copper Association members and stakeholders along the copper value chain understand their responsibility to the environment and the communities in which they operate.
To learn more about copper’s essentiality to the modern world, check out the infographic below.
The copper industry provides benefits to more than just the companies mining copper and fabricating products from it. Copper spurs employment in both local and regional economies for a wide range of jobs, from plumbers and electricians to automotive workers and electronic equipment manufacturers. These “downstream” sectors employ an enormous number of people and represent a larger part of the local, regional and world economies.
In addition, the copper industry supports sustainable economies. According to the leader of one global mining company, the global mining industry drives almost half of the world’s gross domestic product (GDP), either on a direct basis or through the use of products that facilitate other industries. Mines create employment opportunities, support and strengthen community public transportation systems, commercial/business infrastructures and community energy demands, and enable farmers to produce more and get their products to markets.
The copper industry outlook is also looking positive for the global economy. A 2016 report from the International Council of Mining and Metals (ICMM) notes that the mining industry is a major force in the world economy, emphasizing many low and middle-income countries depend on mining for national economic success. ICMM case studies show that foreign exchange earnings from mining can create positive developmental effects. In many countries, the mining and metals industry contributes to job creation, poverty reduction and an increase in the quality of life.