The development (click here) of civilisation has relied heavily on the discovery of metals....
The Stone Age [unrecorded time to 1500 BCE (Before Common Era)]
The Copper Age (4200 BC to 400 BCE) came before the Bronze Age.
Europe, primarily Scandinavia, is the earlier findings of metal ages. The Copper age was during the time of the Greeks.
Following the Copper age, silver and lead were found. Tin was discovered and it was incorporated with copper to form the Bronze Age. The founding of tin is nearly synonymous with the creation of Bronze which began in about 2300 BCE to 1500 BCE to 700 BCE).
The Iron Age was pre-Roman Empire. It was the Germanic tribes that first discovered iron in 800 BCE to 400 BCE. Pre-Rome Iron Age was 400 BCE to 0. Roman Iron Age was 0 to 400 CE (Common Era).
Mercury came along at 750 BCE. Then came the Common Era with Platinum in 1557, Nickel in 1751, Tungsten in 1783, Uranium in 1789, Titanium in 1791 and Chromium in 1797.
All these metals were in place in Earth since it erupted into an individual planet. Eons of time and eventually human beings went by before fire facilitated the use of metals.
In 1823 Silicon was discovered which comprises about 25% of Earth's crust. Besides silicon the most common metal is aluminum. A large percentage of Earth's crust can be mined for one mineral or another. If mining went on and on there would be no usable land for human existence. There are more important things than money and methods of war.
In Australia, (click here) minerals have been part of the continent's culture and development since man's first appearance. Minerals were used to colour paints in ancient rock art which is an integral part of Aboriginal heritage. Minerals began to be produced in Australia in large quantities from the early days of European settlement at Sydney Cove. Within ten years of the First Fleet arriving in 1788, coal was discovered near Newcastle in New South Wales and later to the south and west of the settlement. These areas provided fuel for heating and cooking, and later steam locomotion in the young colony of New South Wales. The first metal mined in Australia was lead at Glen Osmond in South Australia in 1841. The young colony was quick to start exporting agricultural products but by 1850 exports of copper and lead from South Australia earned more than Australia's exports of wool and wheat.