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Homepage / ABOUT US / About KGHM / About KGHM Polska Miedź S.A. / Significance of Copper for Sustainable Development

About KGHM

 

(2.2) KGHM Polska Miedź S.A. is the leading European mining producer of copper (number eight worldwide). Every year KGHM produces approximately 566 thousand tonnes of electrolytic copper and close to 427 thousand tonnes of mining copper. For a number of years, KGHM has also been the world leader in silver production. With a high output of this precious metal in 2012 (1 274 tonnes), KGHM once again topped the World Silver Survey published by Thomson Reuters GFMS.

 

Copper is one of the most universal natural resources in the world. Its unparalleled quality parameters make copper an indispensable material in numerous industries, such as telecommunications, power engineering, transport, healthcare and construction. Copper plays a very important role in the sustainable development of the European Union. Thanks to its durability and properties, one tonne of copper used in an electric energy receiver or in a renewable energy heating device results in reduction of CO2 emissions by 200 tonnes per year.

 

The Polish Copper Promotion Centre has prepared a catalogue showing the metal’s advantages: it is easily forgeable and resistant to corrosion; it is an excellent electricity and heat conductor; it has powerful antimicrobial properties; and is 100% recyclable. According to a report of the International Copper Study Group (ICSG),as much as 44.8% of 5 million tonnes of copper used in Europe in 2010 was sourced from scrapped products or waste products from further stages of the value chain i.e. after copper ore mining and processing.

 

Copper can be found almost everywhere since modern devices and systems increasingly often rely on copper: from high-tech sector products, electric systems and engines to solar systems or intelligent home control systems. After the end of a life cycle of a copper containing product, the material can be recovered. Urban mining, the process of reclaiming compounds and elements from products, buildings and waste, provides considerable raw material reserves. All copper resources, including those already recycled, can be reused in the future many times. The elements of building infrastructure, such as pipes, roofing sheets or modern facade materials can be made entirely of copper produced from copper ore or from reclaimed and recycled copper.

 

Copper also finds new applications. According to research conducted by the American Defence Department, intensive care units furnished with contact surfaces made of antimicrobial copper can reduce the risk of hospital infections by 58% compared to intensive care units where copper is not used. Such properties are attributed to pure copper and alloys containing more than 60% of copper. According to the information of the Polish Copper Promotion Centre, compared to other solutions preventing hospital infections, the metal is worthwhile because of its permanent effect and compatibility with other preventive measures. For more information about different uses of copper visit www.mieć-miedź.pl.

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KGHM Polska Miedź S.A. is the winner of the Most Attractive Employer title in third edition of the Randstadt Award survey held in Poland. The high employment standards maintained in Poland will be implemented in all KGHM Group companies worldwide.