The name “Five Nines” copper refers to the highest quality of cathodes produced by the company, one of the very few copper producers in the world that certifies its cathodes as 99.999% pure, compared to the usual 99.99%.
The LME (London Metal Exchange) establishes that “four nines” is a requirement to obtain grade A quality, the highest in existence, providing other parameter requirements are achieved with respect to other, non-copper, substances.
For as long as 10,000 years, humans have relied on copper for everything from simple tools and coins, to the necessities of modern life.
Copper is the most conductive metal, after silver. Copper is also ductile, malleable, corrosion-resistant and tough. There is no practical substitute for copper in applications where energy efficiency, safe conductivity, resistance to corrosion, complex geometries or very fine wiring are required.
From the tiniest computer microprocessors to the tonnes of wiring, tubing, busbar, cable, bushings and bearings in a power station, copper keeps systems operating longer and at higher efficiencies.
A cleaner, greener, more connected future will depend on copper. Its superior electrical and thermal conductivity is essential for the safe and efficient production, distribution and transmission of heat and electrical power and for the batteries, windings and charging infrastructure required for electric vehicles. Renewable energy systems use four to six times more copper than fossil fuel systems.
Copper is also essential to telecommunications. ADSL cables, HDSL wiring and UTP lines are constructed of finely wrought copper wires. Interface devices such as modems and routers remain dependent on copper.
In construction, copper’s bacteriostatic properties make it the standard material for potable water and heating systems in most developed countries. Copper is considered the safe choice in plumbing, heating systems, taps, valves, roofing, heating and air conditioning systems as it is resistant to extreme heat corrosion and chemical corrosion, will not burn, melt or release toxic fumes.
Copper is a sustainable material. Its recycling rate is higher than that of any other metal. Each year nearly as much copper is recovered from recycled material as is derived from newly mined ore. Around 80% of the copper that has ever been mined is still in use today.