Copper extraction refers to the methods used to obtain copper from its ores. If the ore is primarily sulfide copper minerals (such as chalcopyrite), the ore is crushed and ground to liberate the valuable minerals from the waste ('gangue') minerals.

Copper ores. The main copper sulphide minerals are chalcopyrite chalcocite, covellite, bornite, tetrahedrite and enargite. The largest source of copper is from porphyry ore deposits in which one or a combination of the aforementioned minerals occurs.