Minerals are important for many reasons. They are a vital part of our economy and society. Without minerals, we would not have the things we need to survive.
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1.What are minerals?
Minerals are inorganic substances that are found in the earth. They are an important part of our ecosystem and have many different uses. Some minerals are used for construction, like sand, gravel, and limestone. Others are used for manufacturing, like iron and aluminum. And still others are used for jewelry or even currency, like gold and silver.
2.The importance of minerals
Minerals are important for society and the economy. They are essential for the manufacture of a wide variety of products, including:
– construction materials (cement, concrete, bricks, tiles, glass, ceramics)
– metals (iron, steel, copper, lead, zinc)
– chemicals and fertilizers
– electronic components
– medical products
3.How do minerals affect society and the economy?
-Minerals are essential for the construction of roads, bridges, buildings, and all other infrastructure.
-Minerals are used in manufacturing, agriculture, and many other industries.
-Minerals are important for the production of electricity.
-Minerals are used in the production of a wide variety of products, including metals, glass, ceramics, paints, and plastics.
4.What would happen if we didn’t have minerals?
Minerals are essential for our society and economy. Here are four reasons why:
1. Minerals are essential for human health. Our bodies need minerals to function properly. They help us maintain strong bones, a healthy immune system, and good muscle function. Some minerals, such as iron and iodine, are especially important for pregnant women and young children.
2. Minerals are important for agriculture. Farmers use minerals to increase crop yields and improve the quality of their crops. For example, phosphorus is an essential mineral for plant growth, and potassium helps plants resist disease and pests.
3. Minerals are used in a variety of industries. Mineral products are used in everything from construction to electronics to medicine. For example, copper is used in electrical wiring, while clay is used in the manufacture of ceramics.
4. Minerals are an important source of revenue for many countries. Mining is a major industry in many parts of the world, and minerals are one of the most valuable commodities that countries trade on the international market.
5.How do we get minerals?
The process of removing minerals from the ground is called mining. There are two types of mining: surface mining and underground mining.
Surface mining is used when a mineral deposit is close to the surface. In this type of mining, large machines are used to remove the top layers of soil and rock to get to the minerals. The two main types of surface mining are open-pit mining and strip mining.
Open-pit mining is usually used when a mineral deposit is large and close to the surface. This type of mining begins by blasting rock at the bottom of the pit. The blasting creates a lot of noise, dust, and air pollution. The rock that is blasted loose is called overburden. It is removed from the pit so that miners can get to the minerals underneath.
Strip mining is like open-pit mining, but it involves removing long strips of overburden instead of one large pit. This method is used when mineral deposits are found in areas that are too big for an open pit or when deposits are found near each other (called seam Mining). After all the overburden has been removed from a strip, miners use heavy machinery to dig out minerals from underneath (called sub-surface Mining).
Underground Mining is used when mineral deposits are too deep in the ground for surface Mining. In this type of Mining, miners tunnel into the ground to reach mineral deposits. There are two main types of tunnels: shafts and drifts. A shaft starts at the surface and goes straight down; a drift starts at an opening on the side of a hill or mountain and goes horizontally into the hill or mountain.
Mining can be very dangerous work because cave-ins and explosions can happen suddenly without any warning signs. To make underground mines safer, miners use special equipment to find potential dangers before they start digging tunnels (called “mapping”), put up supports to prevent cave-ins (called “timbering”), and use special ventilation systems to remove poisonous gases from mines (called “ventilation”).
6.The different types of minerals
There are two main types of minerals: metallic and non-metallic. Metallic minerals are further divided into ferrous and non-ferrous minerals.
Ferrous minerals contain iron and are generally found in rocks, whereas non-ferrous minerals do not contain iron and are generally found in ores (i.e. rocks that can be mined and processed for their valuable metals).
Non-metallic minerals are further divided into industrial or mineral commodities, rare earth metals, precious metals, semi-precious stones,critical minerals, uranium, and other radioactive minerals.
Industrial or mineral commodities include rock salt, potash, phosphate rock, asbestos, gypsum, dimension stone (including marble), lime stone, clays (including kaolin and bentonite), sand (including silica sand), gravel and crushed stone used in construction activity.
Rare earth metals are a set of 17 chemical elements in the periodic table that include scandium, yttrium and the 15 lanthanides. They are generally used as catalysts or in electronics such as computers and smartphones due to their unique magnetic and metallurgical properties.
Precious metals include gold, silver platinum and palladium that have a high economic value due to their rarity and physical properties. They are often used in jewellery or as an investment.
Semi-precious stones include amethyst, turquoise, opal, lapis lazuli etc. that have a lower economic value than precious stones but are still used in jewellery or for decorative purposes.
Critical minerals are those that either have a supply risk or their supply is controlled by one or a few countries. They include cobalt ,graphite ,lithium ,niobium ,rare earths ,tellurium and tungsten .Their supply may be at risk due to political instability in the countries where they are produced , natural disasters ,or depletion of resources .
7.The benefits of minerals
Minerals are important for our bodies to stay healthy. They help build strong bones and teeth, control blood pressure, support the nervous system, and many other vital functions.
Minerals are also important for the economy. They are used to make steel and other metals, glass, porcelain, bricks, mortar, and concrete. They are also used as abrasives and chemicals in a variety of industries.
8.The drawbacks of minerals
While minerals are important for society and the economy, there are some drawbacks to their extraction and use.
Mining can have a negative impact on the environment, both directly and indirectly. The direct effects of mining include the disturbance of land, air and water resources, as well as the destruction of plant and animal habitat. The indirect effects of mining include pollution of these same resources.
Mining can also have a negative impact on human health. Dust from mining operations can cause respiratory problems, while the chemicals used in mining can contaminate water supplies and cause other health problems.
In addition to the environmental and health impacts of mining, there are also social impacts. Mining can displace communities, as well as create conflicts between miners and landowners.
9.The future of minerals
The future of minerals looks set to be just as linked to technology as it has been in the past. We will continue to need new and innovative uses for existing minerals, as well as the exploration and exploitation of new deposits, if we are to maintain our current standard of living. The recycling of metals and other minerals will become increasingly important in order to conserve dwindling supplies of many resources, especially those that are non-renewable.
FAQ’s about minerals
What are minerals?
Minerals are naturally occurring chemical substances that have a crystalline structure. They are formed underground over millions of years as rocks undergo changes in temperature and pressure.
What are the benefits of minerals?
Minerals play a vital role in society and the economy. They are used in a wide range of products, from construction materials to cosmetics, and are essential for agricultural productivity and food security.
How does mining contribute to the economy?
The mining industry is a major contributor to the Australian economy, providing jobs and supporting communities across the country. Mining also generates substantial export earnings for Australia, accounting for around 33 percent of our total merchandise exports in 2017–18.
How many minerals are there?
There are more than 4,000 known mineral species, but only a small number of these are commonly used in industry. Australia is rich in many mineral resources and produces a large variety of mineral commodities, including metals, coal and industrial minerals.