well, copper isn't even as easy to mine as finding rich veins of ore. the Kennecott
mine just gradually digs out an entire mountain of 0.6% copper.
a lot of that copper probably ends up in landfills, tho, as we toss out broken electronics. but much of it gets recycled because copper is expensive. around here, thieves are even cutting out peoples' air-conditioning coils to take to the recycler. aluminum, otoh, is nearly pointless financially. me and a neighbor collected cans as kids, and even throwing in some scrap his dad found at the railroad, i doubt we had more than $40 at the end of a summer.
i have wondered about the copper problem, though. would we be able to meet demand if electric vehicles suddenly became popular?