A geoscientist exploration team uses many techniques to evaluate the earth's surface and sub-surface for the presence of copper ore deposits that can be economically extracted. An area review by helicopter followed by detailed drilling in the area of interest will determine the overall availability of enough elemental copper to consider mining the area.
There are two basic types of copper ores: sulfide ores and oxide ores. Each type of ore requires different extractive and processing techniques. Sulfide ores include: bornite, chalcocite, and chalcopyrite. Oxide ores include: malachite. azurite and chrysocolla.