He picked up a handful of the brown earth and let it run through his fingers. The last time he had been here there had been nothing but the cavernous pit, reaching down almost half a mile into the ground. Now the vast open mine had been completely filled in. Over the top of it young trees had been planted and had blossomed. Their leaves, turning red-yellow provided the only suggestion of copper that remained here.
Their obsession with oil had blinded them to the other resources that were running out. For 10,000 years man had made use of the naturally occurring, orange-brown metal. Copper was the first metal to be smelted, the first to be moulded into a shape and, along with tin, the first metal to be alloyed to create bronze.
In the industrial and technological revolutions copper had been a key player, and of course, they had plundered the earth for every last viable particle of it. And now there was none left. Now they would have to recycle, unless…
…You see, copper naturally occurs in all life, it is an essential trace dietary mineral. The human body contains up to 2 milligrams of copper per kilogram of weight, trapped in bone, muscle and the liver. All they needed was to establish the most efficient procedure to extract it. Global governments had approved the latest extraction trials, now the scientists just needed to find the host bodies.
This is a response to the #writephoto Prompt: Copper – curated over at Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo. Click on the link to read other stories inspired by the image.
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