Miracle of Copper

This is an animated video, with a humorous touch, about the metal copper. It shows the geological processes that form copper ore deposits. The mining and processing of the ore at the Northparkes mine in NSW are shown and the many uses of copper and its compounds are explored.Rio Tinto (North Parkes) is acknowledged as the provider of this resource with assistance from New South Wales Minerals Council.

Educational value statement

  • Explains how the subduction of tectonic plates gives rise to copper ore deposits.
  • Explains how the uses of copper and its compounds are related to their properties.
  • Describes and illustrates the method of underground mining known as block caving.
  • Shows the processes of crushing and froth flotation used to concentrate the ore.
  • Details the role copper will play in sustainability in the future.

Key learning objectives

  • Students describe how geological processes can give rise to ore deposits.
  • Students explain how the properties of copper and its compounds are related to specific uses.
  • Students describe the block caving method of underground mining.
  • Students describe how copper ore is concentrated using froth flotation.


  • Science Understanding: Chemical sciences; Earth and space sciences
  • Science as a Human Endeavour: Use and influence of science

Australian Curriculum content statements (explicit)

Science: ACSSU074; ACSSU075; ACSSU116; ACSSU153; ACSSU180; ACSHE083; ACSHE100; ACSHE120; ACSHE135; ACSHE161; ACSHE195