The Looming Copper Shortage
The Outlook for Copper
It is estimated that in the next 25 years the world will need to produce as much copper as it has since the dawn of time. This is because as economic growth occurs, so too does the demand for copper. In an increasingly globalized world, copper is instrumental and irreplaceable. The higher the economic growth, the more the need for copper-containing products that aid in that expansion. Consider what copper is used for:
- Water pipelines
- Power lines
- Electrical motors
- Electrical appliances
- Healthcare devices
- Industrial equipment
In other words, copper is integrated into the very framework of the things that power both our work environment and our home life.
Factors Contributing to the Shortage
While the upcoming copper shortage is largely an exponential increase in demand exceeding supply, it is also influenced by other factors. Underground mines are producing less copper than before and have a smaller production capacity than open-faced pit mines. Similarly, it is becoming increasingly difficult to locate new copper sources, and higher-grade deposits are becoming scarcer as a result. Infrastructure challenges and a downward spiral of ore exploration funding also add to the copper problem.
This means that in the forthcoming years the quality of ore will plummet and the GER (Gross Energy Requirement) may skyrocket. The declining grade of copper is also problematic as it may take more copper to reach the same standard of output that is currently maintained.
Will Recycling Help?
Obviously, recycling can help to replete some of the diminished copper supply. The more we can reuse copper, the more available copper there will be. However, even recycling will not be able to completely rectify the looming shortage. The shortage will be so great and the demand so high that even an increased rate of copper recycling will not be enough. Helpful, yes, but not enough to allow the supply to meet the demand.
What You Can Do
The main way you can help is to recycle all of the copper you can. Take all of your unwanted copper and related ferrous and non-ferrous materials to Federal Metals, Inc. We will pay a top rate for your metal and recycle it in eco-friendly processes. You can turn your unwanted junk into cash while saving the environment and copper resources in the process. Stop by Federal Metals, Inc. today at 5135 94 Ave SE in Calgary or fill out our online form.