Copper Mining and Processing: Summary and Objectives

Module Summary

Copper is a chemical element that has a variety of uses based on its properties of malleability and conductivity. Copper ore deposits are found on every continent, and it has been mined around the world for more than 10,000 years. It is a necessary component for many products in the modern world. The steps involved in opening a mine and processing copper ore into a final product are very complex. This module will cover basic information about copper, copper mining in Arizona and on tribal lands, the life cycle of a mine, and the specifics of copper processing.

Learning Objectives

  1. Describe basic information about copper, its occurrence, and its use
  2. Articulate the history and current status of copper mining in Arizona and tribal lands
  3. Detail the stages in the life cycle of a mine
  4. Describe copper processing for oxide and sulfide ores

Statement by the Authors

Brief quotations from these modules are allowed without special permission, provided that accurate acknowledgement of the source is made.  Requests for permission for extended quotation from or reproduction of this manuscript in whole or in part may be granted by the copyright holder.

Suggested citation: Stanley, J., Wilkinson, S.T., Moreno Ramírez, D., Maier R.M., & Chief, K. (2015). Tribal Mining Educational Modules: Copper Mining and Processing [PDF and/or PowerPoint document]. Retrieved from