Faynan is noted for the largest concentration of copper ore deposits in the southern Levant. They were exploited from the 9th millennium BC onwards.
Smelting occurred on a large scale during Early Bronze Age (3600-3300 BC). Based on the amount of slag found, 300-500 metric tons of metal could have been extracted in the 3rd millennium BC.
"The ore deposits are part of the same geological formation as those at Timna on the western (Israeli) side of the Wadi Arabah, which has been better documented, and where more mines have been identified. However the size of the Faynan mines suggests a more intensive exploitation than at Timna."
- Levy TE, Adams RB, Hauptmann A, Prange M, Schmitt-Strecker S, and Naijjar M. 2002. Early Bronze Age metallurgy: a newly discovered copper manufactory in southern Jordan. Antiquity 76(292):425-437
- E. Ben-Yosef, T. E. Levy, T. Higham, M. Najjar, and L. Tauxe, The beginning of Iron Age copper production in the southern Levant: new evidence from Khirbat al-Jariya, Faynan, Jordan, Antiquity, vol. 84, no. 325, pp. 724–746, 2010.
- Alexandre Novo, Matthew L. Vincent, and Thomas E. Levy, Geophysical Surveys at Khirbat Faynan, an Ancient Mound Site in Southern Jordan. International Journal of Geophysics, Volume 2012 (2012)