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Copper concentrate is a common raw material for copper smelters. It is a mixture of minute dry particles of copper, iron, and sulfide. These are then filtered, oxidized, and heated to produce metallic copper. The final product is 99% pure copper.
Copper concentrates are marketed via spot contracts or long-term contracts. Miners are paid for their copper based on the market price at the time of delivery. Longer-term contracts pay according to an agreed copper price for a specified date.
Copper concentrate has many uses. It is widely used in the electrical and mechanical industries. It is also utilized in the production of copper alloys. In addition, it is often used in national defense projects.
Copper concentrate can be separated into several bins based on the concentration and quality of the powder. However, there are some impurities, including arsenic, which can have adverse effects on the quality of copper metal products.
Most smelters have strict impurity limits. If a concentrate producer does not meet these standards, they may face financial penalties.
The main mineral that is commonly found in copper ore is chalcopyrite. Chalcopyrite is a type of copper sulfide. Typically, copper ore is shipped as a concentrate of 20 to 40 percent copper.
Copper concentrates are usually refined at a different location than the mine where the ore is mined. They are then transferred to a storage yard. During transportation, they may be spot checked by a third party.