Copper has been mined for 5,000 years. It is a reddish metal that takes on a bright luster. Malleable and ductile, it is a good conductor of heat and electricity.
Copper can occur naturally in large ore deposits of sulfides, oxides, and carbonates. It is also found in cuprite, malachite, azurite, chalcopyrite, bornite, and other minerals.
Copper's largest use is in the electrical industry, and its alloys, brass and bronze, are used in coins and gun metals. Copper is also used as both an agricultural poison and an algaecide. Copper compounds are widely used in analytical chemistry testing.