Copper is a reddish-gold colored metal that is ductile, malleable, and an effective conductor of heat and electricity. Copper was the first metal to be worked with by humans and is among the most widely used metals today.
Copper minerals are found in over one hundred varieties, although only a few have been worked for copper on a large scale. The most abundant ores are chalcopyrite and bornite, which contain both copper and iron sulphides. These account for about 80% of the world's known ores.
Most copper is used in electrical equipment such as wiring and motors. This is because it conducts both heat and electricity very well, and can be drawn into wires. It also has uses in construction (for example roofing and plumbing), and industrial machinery (such as heat exchangers).