Native Copper

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

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.)
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Figure 5: Core from hole DD1571 at a depth of 214 metres, showing disseminated chalcocite with a wide vein of native copper cutting through it in the breccia zone.
Caption: 12-15 Examples of fire-altar types featured on the reverse of Sakra native copper issues.
Brown, "Genesis of native copper lodes in the Keweenaw District, Northern Michigan: A hybrid evolved meteoric and metamophogenic model," Economic Geology, vol.
* Phase 2: Stronger and later overprinting mineralization events are also evident in most of the new drill holes, including widespread garnet-bearing skarns containing clots, veins, and disseminations of covellite, native copper, and bornite, with local formation of secondary chalcocite.
In addition, two significant intersections of copper were reported in FKD13_441 at Owendale North including 9m @ 0.92%Cu from 38m at the base of the laterite zone and 10m @ 2.1%Cu from 60m in fresh rock (visual native copper in dunite).
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.
Steinman (A and S '11G)-examined Michigan's Keweenaw Peninsula because it is the largest source of pure native copper in North America.
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.