Native Copper

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Copper, Native


a mineral of the class of native elements. The mineral contains Fe, Ag, Au, As, and other elements as admixtures or as solid solutions with Cu. Its crystal structure reveals a face-centered cubic lattice. Native copper occurs in plates and as porous and solid masses; crystals, complex twins, and dendrites are also found. The surface of native copper is often covered with films of green and of blue copper carbonate, copper phosphates, and the like. The mineral’s color, luster, malleability, and other properties are identical to those of metallic copper.

Native copper is usually formed in the oxidation zone of certain copper sulfide deposits in association with cuprite (Cu2O), malachite, azurite, and other minerals. Single masses of native copper can weigh as much as 400 tons. Large commercial deposits of native copper in combination with calcite, native silver, and other minerals are formed upon the action of hydrothermal solutions, volcanic vapors, and gases enriched with volatile compounds of copper on igneous rocks (diabase, melaphyre); the deposit near Lake Superior (USA) is one such example. Native copper also occurs in sedimentary rocks, primarily cupriferous sandstone and shale.

The major native copper deposits include the Tura mines (Urals) and the Dzhezkazgan deposit (Kazakh SSR) in the USSR and deposits on the Keeweenaw peninsula (Michigan) and in Arizona and Utah in the United States. Native copper is used as an ore for the extraction of copper.


Kostov, I. Mineralogiia. Moscow, 1971. (Translated from English.)
References in periodicals archive ?
Like the legend of the big fish that got away, the giant slab of native copper once witnessed in the depths of the Copper-corp Mine near Sault Ste.
1%Cu from 60m in fresh rock (visual native copper in dunite).
Steinman (A and S '11G)-examined Michigan's Keweenaw Peninsula because it is the largest source of pure native copper in North America.
4 million short tons of copper, mostly as native copper concentrated in the tops of basalt lava flows and within interbedded conglomerates.
In north-eastern Europe the use of native copper began soon after 4000 BC in what is today the Republic of Karelia (Russian Federation), when copper artefacts appear in find assemblages.
Common burial practices, the wide distribution of such items as high-quality chert bifaces and finely crafted slate objects, and native copper and marine shell artifacts show how the Meadowood phenomenon brought several hunter-fisher-gatherer societies together.
Native copper exploitation flourished in this core area through the seventh millennium BC while other metals, notably lead and (in the early sixth millennium BC) meteoritic iron, appear for the first time (Schoop 1999).
Copper mineralization including native copper has been encountered in each of the four drill holes, however, the length of the drill core intersections and grade are yet to be determined and will be released when available.
Copper mineralisation consisting of native copper, chalcocite, bornite, chalcopyrite, and malachite is hosted in a broad northwest-trending zone of altered granodiorite and occurs as disseminations, along fractures and in veins.
The Inuit were so named because of their extensive use of artifacts made from the native copper deposits of the region.
Drill hole number 2 intercepted a six foot interval of disseminated native copper at 571 foot.