The domestic copper industry has been through a difficult period over much of the past decade. The numerous problems facing the copper industry have resulted in generally poor profitability, little improvement in productivity, and a trend of increasing imports. In this Bureau of Mines report, the principal problems facing the copper industry are identified and their impact on the industry's performance and outlook are assessed. The study revealed that the relatively low grade of U.S. copper ores and the high cost of labor compared with grades and costs in several developing countries are major problems hindering the domestic copper industry, that several smelters in this country are in need of renovation in order to better compete with foreign copper producers, and that several government policies have had a negative effect on the copper industry. In spite of these problems, the magnitude of the U.S. copper reserve seems to assure that the country will remain a major producer. While the potential long-run outlook for copper mining in the United States is generally favorable, a major unknown is the future status of smelting in this country.