The Copper Environmental Profile (CEP) summarizes the resuts of the International Copper Association's Copper Cathode Life-Cycle Assessment. It covers copper mining, smelting & refining as well as the metallurgical processing of secondary raw material resources (but not their collection, sorting and pre-processing by recyclers and scrap dealers). The CEP takes into account both the pyrometallurgical and hydrometallurgical production routes, representing respectively 80-85% and 15-20% of primary material resources.
The profile has been published in 2018, based on data collected in 2010 - 2013. Data was colleced from International Copper Association's members which include many of the world's largest copper producers and can be deemed representative of ICA member activities but not necessarily of the copper industry's global production of ~ 28 million tonnes at the time of publication. The functional unit for the CEP is 1,000 kg of copper cathode. The 'Big 6' environmental impact indicators are reported. The CEP takes into account credits for co-products such as by-metals in mining, sulfuric acid production in smelting and refining and precious metals production in refining, while accounting for the environmental impacts of these additional processes.
The results indicate, e.g. for the most frequently used impact indicators, that it takes typically 47 GJ and 4.1 tons of CO2equivalent to produce a ton of copper cathode, based on a mix of primary and secondary material resources.
The Copper Environmental Profile - https://copperalliance.org/sustainable-copper/about-copper/copper-environmental-profile/
Last update: October 23, 2022
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