How is Copper Formed?

The process begins with molten material, which is later cooled. In the meantime, an enzyme called anthocyanin combines with the sulphurous volcanic gas in the trapped fluids to form a blue substance called plastocyanin. The result is a metal-rich crystalline material that is 99% copper by weight.

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As it cools, copper concentrates and crystallises. During the process of rock crystallisation, fluid is forced to move into cracks, allowing a large amount of copper to form. When the liquid solidifies, it is almost pure copper. When the process is complete, rocks begin to erode, leaving deposits of copper. As a result, these deposits are formed in a relatively short time to be mined and turned into Copper Pipe Fittings. Find out more at Watkins & Powis

Copper is a highly reactive metal that reacts readily with other substances. It is also commonly found in deposits of other metals, which means that it is a valuable commodity. But how is copper formed? Does it form in the Earth’s crust? And how is copper deposited in nature? Once copper is present in the crust, it undergoes a variety of chemical reactions.

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Copper begins as a sulphide and is oxidised by the atmosphere and rainwater. It is formed in a deposit that contains other metals, and is known as a porphyry copper deposit. It begins as a fairly small concentration in the molten rock. The water in the porphyry deposits then reacts with the minerals causing the concentration of copper to increase, forming the large crystals that are found during mining. Copper is most often found in beds where silver, gold and zinc are also found.


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