First Quantum's primary product is copper. Copper has a wide range of applications because of its many useful properties. It is malleable, durable, strong and heat resistant. It is also one of the most efficient conductors of electricity and heat.
Copper is used to manufacture copper wire, copper products and copper alloy products. Wire and cable copper is used for or formed into general industrial cable, utility power cable, telecommunications cable, insulated wire and winding wire for electrical motors. Wire and copper cable is also used in heating and air conditioning systems, plumbing, roofing and brass fittings.
For electrical and electronic devices such as televisions, radios, lighting, computers and mobile phones, copper wiring is used for electrical leads, adapters, transformers and motors. Copper compounds and chemicals are used to protect plants and crops and to preserve wood.
Copper tubing for plumbing, heating systems, air conditioners and refrigerators accounts for a significant use of copper. Copper may also be used in alloy products which include copper sheet and strips and brass fixtures used for building fixtures and fittings.
The price of copper is primarily determined by changes in supply and demand, which are in turn affected and determined by global economic conditions. Copper consumption by Asian countries has increased demand for the metal and, in the last few years, has led to higher prices.