Much of the world has already committed to ambitious targets to meet climate goals. Undoubtedly, these commitments to decarbonization and electrification of developing economies will influence copper demand. Copper, with its infinite life cycle, is a truly circular material.
The global end-of-life recycling rate for copper is 40 percent. In addition, more than 30 percent of global copper demand is already met with recycled copper.
To meet growing global ambitions, recycling needs to complement primary metal sources. According to the World Bank, the low-carbon, sustainable economy—with additional renewables and electric vehicles, greater energy efficiency and electrification—will require a nearly endless supply of metals, both from responsible mining and recycling.
ICA supports measures ensuring the market acceptance of both primary and secondary resources. ICA members, together with copper fabricators and other partners, collaborate closely with global policy makers to remove barriers and create market incentives for the use of secondary raw materials to close the loop.
ICA members are using cutting-edge technologies and innovative recycling processes, such as introducing scrap metals into the smelting process to recycle valuable raw materials and enhance efficiencies. This includes recycling intricate electronic devices and other increasingly complex products.
State-of-the-art recyclers can recover 20+ metals from complex copper products and applications.
24 million tonnes
of copper enter the global urban mine annually
13 million tonnes
reach the end-of-life phase and become available for recycling
To fully use the potential of the Urban Mine, in conjunction with the circular economy, a combination of adequate local infrastructure, skills and market conditions is needed.
Circular Economy Resources
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