Production of Copper
The copper industry in the United States has two main segments: producers-mining, smelting, refining companies; and fabricators-wire mills, brass mills, foundries, powder plants. The end products of the producers, the most important of which are refined cathode copper and wire rod, are sold almost entirely to the copper fabricators. The end products of the fabricators-copper and copper alloy mill and foundry products-consist of electrical wire, strip, sheet, plate, rod, bar, mechanical wire, tube, forgings, extrusions, castings, and powder. These products are sold to a wide variety of users: chiefly the construction industry, manufacturing industries, and the government. Certain mill products, chiefly wire, cable, and most tubular products, are used without further metalworking. On the other hand, most flat-rolled products, rod, bar, mechanical wire, forgings, castings and powder go through multiple forming, machining, finishing, and assembling operations before emerging as finished products.