Cyprus is the very origin of the name of copper, from aes сyprium (metal of Cyprus), later corrupted to сuprum (Latin), from which the words derived, coper (Old English) and copper, first used around 1530. Because copper is one of the few metals that can occur in nature in a directly usable metallic form there is clear evidence of very early human use in several regions, from c. 8000 BC. Thousands of years later, it was the first metal to be smelted from sulfide ores, c. 5000 BC, the first metal to be cast into a shape and the first metal to be purposefully alloyed with another metal, tin, to create bronze, c. 3500 BC.
Many of the exposed massive sulphide deposits around the Troodos Mountains in Cyprus have been mined for copper since the Bronze Age and copper production continues at the privately owned Skouriotissa Mine (29,465 t of copper cathode produced by Hellenic Mining Company from 2007 to 2016 using a SX-EW plant; Cyprus Mines Services, 2018c). There is widespread evidence of ancient copper mining throughout the Troodos Mountains with more than 140 slag piles recorded. The largest slag pile was at Skouriotissa and was estimated to exceed 1 Mt. It was built between ca. 620 BC and 310 AD. Modern mining commenced in Cyprus in the 1920s with more than 74 Mt of massive ore extracted from about 30 deposits in the following 50 years. Production focussed on pyrite, copper, gold and silver, although some of the Cyprus deposits also contain appreciable amounts of zinc. The largest known deposit in Cyprus is Mavrovouni where 16.5 Mt at approximately 4.5% Cu was extracted between 1929 and 1974.