New Mexico is home to two large active open pit copper mines: the Chino mine in Hurley and the Tyrone mine located 10 miles south of Silver City. Copper is a valuable metal first mined by man more than 10,000 years ago.
Copper has been at the center of communication breakthroughs throughout human history, from the telephone to high-speed computer applications, satellite technology, medical science research and even wireless communications. Copper is also the backbone of the construction industry. It is a critical metal used in wire, plumbing and hardware. It is the best conductor of electricity and heat, and is vital to energy efficiency. Copper is vital to emerging renewable and alternative energy industries. Without copper wind turbines and photovoltaic panels would be too inefficient to remain viable. Thus, copper is crucial in creating clean efficient power to meet rising energy needs.