Copper is an essential mineral, element, and a major industrial metal because of its high ductility, malleability, thermal conductivity, electrical conductivity and resistance to corrosion. Copper is found in form of ore in many parts of the world, however, small amounts of copper are occasionally found in distorted cubic crystal chunks. Copper metal is also recognized as the center of technological advancements with its wide range of applications. It is used in the production of brass, copper sheet products, copper tubes and is used in manufacture of more than 450 alloys. Copper cathode is manufactured using copper with purity of more than 95%. Copper is the chief raw material used in the production of copper rod, which is utilized in several industries for various production processes due to its excellent electrical conductivity.
According to the study “Asia Copper Cathode Industry Situation and Prospects Research Report”, copper cathode is manufactured through the refining process, which removes the impurities from copper ore. Asia copper cathode market is segmented based on refining processes such as smelting and electro-refining. Extracting pure form of copper from its ore is termed as smelting. This process uses heat and chemical reducing agent for decomposition of copper ore, elimination of unwanted slag, and other elements to obtaining pure copper cathode. Refining copper ore in the presence of using aqueous solution for extracting pure form of copper cathode at its maximum is termed as electro-refining. Copper cathode is used in oil industry, gas industry, chemical labs, and various other industries such as power generation, telecommunications, electronic circuits, power transmission, and various types of electrical equipment. Copper cathode is a good conductor of electricity and possesses good resistance characteristics.
Research is carried out in electro-refining process to reduce cost and to recover valuable impurities such as gold, silver, and nickel. Geographically, Asia copper cathode industry is spread across China, India, Japan, Korea, Saudi Arabia and other regions. Various products types in Asia’s copper cathode market are standard quality level and high quality level. Copper cathode is used in manufacturing of conductors, electronic products and in other industries. The leading players in Asia cooper cathode market are Jiangxi Copper Company, Tongling, JX holdings, Sumitomo and BHP Bill. All the leading vendors in Asia’s copper cathode industry are increasingly investing on research to manufacture more long-term reliable copper cathodes.
Major drawbacks in Asia’s copper cathode market are poor resistance to abrasion, common acids and low tensile strength. The capital investment for electro-refining process in copper cathode industry is very high and has shorter life expectancy. Copper cathode possesses high ductility properties compared to other metals with the exception of silver and gold. The market for copper cathode industry in Asia is extensive due to rapid urbanization, industrialization and to develop its existing infrastructure. The market is increasing drastically due to developing efficient and economical smart cities in Asia. This trend will continue over the next few years due to increased consumption in Asian economies.
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Ankur Gupta, Head Marketing & Communications