Scrap metal scramble in Australia

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Australia is a country rich in minerals and one of the world's largest suppliers of copper. But a lot of the metal is now being obtained far from the mines. Australia's vast and largely unguarded infrastructure is proving a target for metal thieves. This government official says the situation is getting out of hand, and it can affect power, water, and phone lines. Once stolen, the scrap metal finds a large market, says this official. To counter the stolen trade, copper makers are marking copper wire with microdots that can identify a particular piece of copper. But the latest initiative is aimed at stopping the theft at its source, by using a national ad campaign. Copper theft has been cut by 47% in the last 12 months and other countries such as the UK and South Africa are taking an interest in the ad campaign and may start similar campaigns of their own.

Tagged: AustraliaOceania.