Products-in-Use

Throughout our history, Hudbay has been in the business of discovering, producing and marketing base metals including copper, zinc and precious metals such as gold and silver. We are proud of the fact that the minerals we mine play a fundamental role in the everyday lives of billions of people around the world. Here are a few facts and figures about them:

Copper

It’s hard to imagine our world without copper. Copper’s high conductivity makes it the ideal material in a wide variety of electrical applications and the core of modern communications systems. Copper tubing is widely used for building applications including natural gas piping, plumbing and fire sprinklers. Copper also has well-known medicinal properties and is used to purify drinking water. Admired for its pliability and lustre, the metal is also used extensively in architectural design. Learn more about copper at www.copper.org.

  • The average North American home contains 400 pounds of copper (used for electrical wiring, pipes
    and appliances)
  • The average car contains 50 pounds of copper
  • The average 747 jetliner contains 9,000 pounds of copper
  • The average person will use 1,500 pounds of copper just to enjoy today's standard of living (in computers, telephones, automobiles, etc.)

Zinc

The applications of zinc are extensive. The metal is used to protect steel from corrosion and produce brass and bronze. Used widely in roofing and drainpipe materials, zinc helps keep our homes and workplaces dry. Zinc’s phosphorescent properties also make it a key ingredient in products including X-ray screens, fluorescent lights and firecrackers. It is also known to increase crop yields and promote human health. Learn more about zinc at www.zinc.org.

  • 55% of zinc is used for galvanizing to protect steel from corrosion
  • The average car contains about 39 pounds of zinc – 17 pounds is used for rust protection, 20 pounds for die-cast parts, and half a pound per tire for rubber curing
  • Zinc is called the “great protector” because it’s used to protect metals (galvanizing) as well as humans, in products such as sunscreen (zinc oxide), zinc lozenges, and vitamins

Gold

As well as its obvious associations with aesthetics and wealth, gold has a vast range of technological uses. Known for its high conductivity, corrosion resistance and malleability, gold is all but indispensable in modern electronics. These same properties mean that gold is an important component in medical and scientific applications including space exploration, nanoparticle technology and smartphones. Learn more about gold at www.gold.org.

  • About 78% of newly mined or recycled gold is used in jewellery
  • According to the World Gold Council, gold jewellery demand was worth US$100 billion in 2014 and accounted for over half of global demand for gold 
  • A standard touchtone telephone typically contains 33 gold-plated contacts
  • An Olympic gold medal is covered with at least six grams of gold
  • Close to 41 kilograms of gold were used in the US Columbia space shuttle

Silver

Like gold, silver is admired for its beauty and richness. It also has properties that make it vital to modern life. The distribution of electric power depends on silver contacts in switches and circuit breakers. Silver is also incorporated into batteries, water-purification systems and many of the electronic devices we use today, including cell phones, plasma televisions and computers. Silver is also used as the coating material of choice for electrically heated automobile windshields and optical data-storage media, including DVDs. Learn more about silver at www.silverinstitute.org.

  • 90% of all crystalline silicon photovoltaic cells (the most common cell used for generating solar energy) use
    silver paste
  • Over 250 million square feet of silver-coated glass is used in homes in the US each year
  • Sterling silver contains 92.5% silver

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