"Mined and used for thousands of years, copper has been found in countries accross the globe - Chile, Indonesia, Australia, Russia, China and the U.S. Ancient civilizations used copper for mirrors, jewelry, weapons, even plumbing.
Copper was initially gathered from surface deposits found on ore outcroppings. Early miners eventually burrowed deeper, following the veins underground. Egyptians excavated shafts over 30 meters deep in search of the metal. The first smelting furnaces date back to nearly 5000 BCE.
Tin and copper were alloyed to create a stonger and more durable meal: bronze. As tin and copper were typically not found together, the need for both metals led to increased trade and commerce among ancient peoples. Today, bronze alloys are composed of approximately 60% copper and 40% tin.
Malleable and versatile, copper today is used for a multitude of products, including wiring, plumbing, roofing materials, and integrated circuits."