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(Chemical symbol Cu).An element with atomic number 29, atomic weight 63.54, mp 1083C, specific gravity 8.96. Pure copper is reddish in colour and malleable and ductile. It occurs in native copper in dendritic masses and has been known for thousands of years. Many copper minerals were used to extract copper metal in primitive furnaces, in the form of copper prills and later as cakes and ingots of copper. There are about 240 copper-bearing minerals and both copper oxides and sulphides were smelted to obtain the metal.