The Copper Smelting Process

An entrepreneur with a successful record of creating advertising and marketing firms and nurturing them to long-term success, Albert Barbusci has started and developed companies in China, North America, and other countries around the Pacific Rim. Having recently become a principal shareholder in Blue Zen Memorial Parks, Inc., Albert Barbusci is working with the company’s leadership to re-orient its efforts to copper mining.

Extracting copper from its ores is a complex and time-consuming process, but recent archaeological records indicate that it was first accomplished about 7,000 years ago by separate civilizations in different parts of the world. Although copper, like gold, sometimes is found in relatively pure form, it usually is found in ore, from which it must be extracted.

Extracting copper from ore is more than a matter of crushing the ore and then raising it to a temperature high enough to let the copper liquefy and pour off. The copper is generally locked in a compound with other elements like sulfur, oxygen, or an oxygen-carbon mix, and must be freed through a reduction process. This can often be accomplished by heating the material to a point below copper’s melting point, but hot enough to cause other chemical reactions. For example, malachite is a combination of copper, carbon, and oxygen. Heating it to between 250 and 350 degrees F sets off reactions that separate the carbon and release it with some of the oxygen, in the form of carbon dioxide, leaving copper oxide to be reduced by another heating process.

Positano, Italy, and the Santa Maria Assunta Church

For more than 30 years, Albert Barbusci has created businesses and grown them to maturity in China, North America, and elsewhere around the Pacific Rim. Most of the ventures he started or assisted were involved in marketing and advertising, but his interests have shifted over the years to digital entertainment and residential real estate, both in North America and in China. Outside the office, Albert Barbusci enjoys a broad range of recreational activities and hobbies, including golf, hiking, football, and travel, especially to Positano, Italy.

Located on Italy’s Amalfi Coast, Positano is a village that clings to the base of the hills of the Sorrento peninsula where they spill into the Gulf of Salerno. Considered one of the Amalfi Coast’s most photogenic towns, the village is hugely popular among tourists.

One of Positano’s main attractions is Santa Maria Assunta Church, which has a dome made of maiolica tiles and features a Byzantine icon of a black Madonna. The icon is reputed to have been stolen from Byzantium by pirates who were then caught in a terrible storm off the Amalfi Coast. Upon hearing the voice of Mary telling him, “Posa! Posa!” (“Drop! Drop”), the pirate captain had the icon taken ashore and left with the people of the village, at which point the storm abated.