Despite an ever-increasing demand for copper, there is more of the metal available today than at any other time in history. This, together with the ability to infinitely recycle copper, means that we are extremely unlikely to deplete our copper supply.
Availability is based on the concept of reserves and resources. Reserves are deposits that have been discovered, evaluated and assessed to be profitable. Resources include both reserves and undiscovered deposits which are predicted based on geological surveys. According to the US Geological Survey, Copper reserves amount to 690 million tonnes, while resources could exceed 5,000 million tonnes. It is widely anticipated that current and future exploration of copper will reveal an increase in both reserves and known resources. US Geological Survey data indicates that since 1950 there has always been around 40 years of copper reserves and over 200 years of resources left.
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