Background: Rocks are the materials which the earth’s upper crusts are made of, they are themselves composed of minerals. Minerals are naturally occurring elements like Gold, or a compound such as Iron Oxide. If a rock contains a mineral from which a metal can be extracted at a profit, it is call an Ore. For example, Copper Ore.
Copper is an element, reddish brown in color, having atomic number 29 and pertaining to the scientific symbol ‘Cu’. Coming from the same family of silver and gold, this element shares numerous common characteristics with those precious metals. It is highly ductile and malleable, and a very good conductor of electricity. That is why it is highly used in the electrical appliances as a thermal and electrical conductor and in building wires. It occurs in various minerals on earth and is also forms part of a lot of alloys. It is a creep and corrosion free metal and all of its features make it an element on which the world’s economy directly depends.
As Nigeria strives to achieve vision 20:2020 which is to be amongst the top 20 economies by the year 2020, it is important that government pay attention to the development of the various minerals deposits in the country because of the nation’s comparative advantage over its neighbors in this area. In fact, it can be said that the more a nations mining industry grows, the more they prosper economically and examples can be seen across the world from Canada to Australia, India, they all have a vibrant mining industry.
Estimated National Deposit: It is estimated that the nation has over 10,000,000 tons of Copper Ore deposit and to take advantage of this resources, interested investors can mine/source and export the product. Export from Nigeria is less than 2% of national reserve.
The occurrence and distribution of Copper Ore in Nigeria is mainly in the Northern part of the country such as Nasarawa, Plateau, Zamfara, Bauchi, Gombe State, Abia and Kano State, because of the peculiar geology of the area.
Percentage of Import: The market for Copper Ore is both local and international with China as the largest importer of metal ore in the world. The percentage given below denotes the total world’s consumption. The consumption trend is on a rise with the increasing contribution of the countries in Asia like Japan, South Korea and Taiwan.
Western Europe 29%, USA 19%, Japan 14%, Russia 10%, China 6%
The business involves the procurement, milling and packaging of Copper Ore for export. There are various factors that influence the demand and supply of Copper in the world such as the technological and social factors.
Only 17% of the total Copper produced in the world is available for trading. The major Copper exporting nations include; Chile, Indonesia, Canada, and Australia. The largest Copper importing countries of the world includes; Spain, China, German, and Philippines.
Uses: Copper has been used as water-proof roofing material since ancient times, giving many old building their greenish roofs and domes. Also as a material in the manufacture of computer heat sinks, as a result of its superior heat dissipation capacity to Aluminum.
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