Perspective: Copper in our lives
Copper has played a central role in social development towards higher living standards for hundreds of years. Today, copper also plays a key role in facilitating the ongoing climate change adaptation.
When copper, for example, is used to conduct energy, it enables significant emissions reductions. Of the more than 600 Mtonnes of copper produced since 1900, it is estimated that two-thirds are still in use today according to the European Copper Institute.
With its high conductivity with regard to electricity and heat, for example, copper is a unique and critical raw material for modern economies and developing societies. This is characterized by urbanization, renewable energy production and increased electrification in society. In addition, large amounts of copper are required to transmit electricity with low losses.
Roughly a third of copper demand around the world is met through recycling. Like the vast majority of metals, copper can be recycled endlessly, without losing its properties or qualities through the recycling process.
Boliden and copper
Boliden holds a strong position in Europe as a producer of copper concentrate. At the same time, Europe imports 80% of copper concentrates from other continents. On a global scale, Boliden is consequently a small player. In 2019, Boliden produced a total of 121 ktonnes copper in concentrates in the Aitik, Kevitsa, Kylylahti, Kristineberg, Renström and Maurliden mines. The Rönnskär and Harjavalta copper smelters also purchase mined concentrates and secondary raw materials from external suppliers. The smelters produced 322 ktonnes of copper, of which recycling accounted for 20% in 2018. Industrial customers, in particular manufacturers of wire rod, rods and copper alloys in Europe, purchase the majority of the metal.