[CuAcad16] Evolution of the copper industry over the past decades: addressing complexity and looking into the future challenges

Date & time

Mar 1, 2023 03:00 PM Brussels


Gerardo Alvear Flores, University of Queensland and International Liasion TMS USA


The copper sector has made efforts in the last forty years to:

  • Improve energy efficiency by reducing specific energy consumption.
  • Increase sulfur capture.
  • Adapt existing processes to declining copper grades.
  • Develop new copper processing technologies.
  • Optimize recovery of valuable elements
  • Develop environmentally friendly technologies to stabilize and safely storage metallurgical waste
  • Develop technical solutions to improve equipment reliability
  • Increase productivity
  • Develop process synergies to recover valuable metals from secondary materials and industrial wastes as part of existing flowsheets or by coupling new processes to existing flowsheets.

Many of the above-mentioned aspects have been at the core of flowsheet transformations required to meet increasing copper demand, driven by the urbanization needs of emerging economies and a growing middle class with more expectation for comfort and goods all over the world.

Although we are living unprecedented times in 2020 due CV19 pandemic, there is a consensus that the future will require even more copper to meet the expectations of a more sustainable planet in which copper plays a central role as key commodity required to meet the expected demand of copper associated with mobility and energy transformation.

This new eco-demand will also need to address aspects associated with the ethical use of the copper source, pricing, premium and the required basic prosperity of those nations who will be contributing the resource for a global development.


Will be added later.



Last update: March 3, 2023