The copper industry is a major contributor to the European economy

Today, Europe has a relatively small, but efficient, copper mining industry, plus a world-class smelting and refining (copper producing) sector.

In fact, European companies have pioneered many of the metallurgical processing technologies used worldwide. It also boasts a well-established semi-fabricating sector, which converts both primary copper and scrap into a broad range of copper and copper alloy products for use further down the value chain.  

Innovation, proximity to, and close cooperation with customers, plus anticipating market needs, have become the hallmarks of success for Europe’s copper semi-fabricating industry. This requires investment in product research and development, plus flexible equipment capable of meeting the highest quality requirements. The sector is made up of fewer than twenty large companies, together with a wide variety of more specialised players, many of whom offer products made of different metals and their alloys.

In total, the European copper industry employs some 50,000 people directly and sustains the jobs of millions of others by delivering key products into a vast range of business and service activities. 

While copper-intensive infrastructures are largely well-developed, they do need to be continuously refurbished and upgraded to satisfy growing demand and to deliver higher efficiencies. Transport systems are one area that has provided strong growth, driven by copper’s many applications in high speed trains, airport expansions and, more recently, hybrid and electric vehicles. Higher rates of economic growth and improved consumer purchasing power in Central and Eastern Europe have also increased demand growth across a wide range of applications. 


Since early 2008, ECI has provided leadership and secretariat services to the REACH Copper Consortium, a standalone business venture open to all potential REACH registrants. Its objective is to maximise the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of its members’ efforts to meet their obligations.

Regulatory Framework

ECI is committed to help policy makers and the public better understand, through neutral scientific research, the very important role copper plays across a variety of sectors and applications.

Innovating with Copper

Innovations with copper have transformed how many things are made and how they work. Read here about some of the latest copper industry innovations that help improve our daily lives.

Voluntary Risk Assessment

The copper Voluntary Risk Assessment (VRA) is a scientific study, initiated by the copper industry, to evaluate the potential risks for man and the environment when exposed to copper.
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