Major Minerals of the World


The earth is abundant with minerals that are essential for contemporary civilisation, from electronics to architecture. The world's major minerals are plentiful and priceless natural resources that, for ages, have moulded the world economy and international trade. These minerals are frequently extracted from the earth's crust at great depths and transformed into consumer or industrial commodities that are vital to our everyday existence.

These minerals require complex technology for discovery, extraction, and refinement, and these processes can have a large negative influence on the environment and society.

Most Important Minerals of The World

Here is brief description about most important minerals of the world −

Coal

  • Coal is a fossil fuel formed from the remains of plants that lived millions of years ago.

  • Carbon makes up the majority of it, with trace amounts of hydrogen, Sulphur, oxygen, and nitrogen also present.

  • For the production of electricity, many industrial activities, and heating, coal is a valuable energy source.

  • It is the most prevalent fossil fuel on the planet and comes in a variety of forms, including lignite, bituminous, and anthracite.

  • The environmental effects of coal mining might include air pollution and land damage.

Iron

  • One of the most common elements on Earth is iron, which is a metallic element.

  • It is a vital part of the manufacturing, transportation, and construction industries because of its strength and adaptability.

  • Steel, a key component in the construction of infrastructure as well as the manufacture of automobiles, machines, and appliances, is made from iron.

  • It is magnetic in nature and has a high melting point.

  • Iron is also necessary for the survival of living things since it is required for the blood's ability to carry oxygen.

Bauxite

  • The main resource from which aluminum is produced is bauxite.

  • Over millions of years, it was created by the weathering and leaching of rocks rich in aluminum.

  • Bauxite often has a reddish-brown colour and contains large amounts of aluminum oxide.

  • It is primarily employed in the production of aluminum, which is essential for many sectors of the economy, including packaging, building, and transportation.

  • Tropical and subtropical locations contain bauxite resources, with the largest reserves being in Australia, Guinea, and Brazil.

Copper

  • The superior conductivity and resilience to corrosion of the adaptable metal copper are well recognized.

  • It has been utilized by people for many years and is essential to many different uses, including electrical wiring, plumbing, and electronics.

  • With a reddish-orange colour and strong thermal and electrical conductivity, copper is a metal.

  • It participates in a number of biological processes and is a vital micronutrient for living things.

  • Sulphide ores are frequently used to extract copper, and significant copper-producing nations include Chile, Peru, and China.

Gold

  • Due to its rarity, aesthetic value, and cultural significance, gold is a valuable metal highly valued.

  • Throughout history, it has been used for jewellery and as money.

  • Because gold has a high level of corrosion resistance, it is a dependable conductor for electronic parts.

  • It is frequently discovered in riverbeds as nuggets or in quartz veins.

  • The biggest producers of gold worldwide are China, Australia, Russia, and Canada, in that order.

Silver

  • Silver is a precious metal renowned for its shiny luster and strong conductivity.

  • Jewellery, silverware, and money have all been made from it for countless years.

  • Electricity and heat are both well-conducted by silver.

  • Other metals including lead, zinc, and copper are frequently found in conjunction with it.

  • In addition to being utilized in medicine and water purification, silver possesses antimicrobial qualities.

Zinc

  • Zinc is a bluish-white metallic element valued for its ability to resist corrosion.

  • It is present in enzymes, proteins, and DNA and is crucial for many biological processes.

  • Galvanization, the process of coating iron and steel with zinc, prevents rusting.

  • Additionally, it is employed in the manufacture of dietary supplements, metals, and batteries.

  • Sulphide ores are the main focus of zinc mining, and notable producers include China, Australia, and Peru.

Nickel

  • Silvery-white nickel has exceptional corrosion resistance and is a metal.

  • It frequently contributes endurance and strength to the manufacturing of stainless steel and other alloys.

  • Batteries, electroplating, and catalysts for chemical reactions all make use of nickel.

  • It occurs in sulphide ores like pentlandite and is frequently found in deposits of copper and cobalt.

  • Stainless steel, which is widely utilized in the manufacturing, transportation, and construction industries, can only be produced with nickel.

Phosphate

  • Phosphorus, an essential ingredient for plants, animals, and people, is present in the mineral combination phosphate.

  • It is largely employed in the manufacture of fertilizers to increase crop yield and growth.

  • Sedimentary rocks contain phosphate deposits, which are generated from the remains of marine creatures.

  • Morocco, China, and the United States are major phosphate producers.

Diamond

  • The world's hardest naturally occurring material is a diamond.

  • They are created under extreme pressure and temperature conditions, deep under the Earth's mantle.

  • Diamonds are widely prized in jewellery because of their outstanding brightness, clarity, and durability.

  • Due of their hardness, they are also utilized in industrial settings for cutting, grinding, and drilling.

  • Several significant diamond-producing nations include Botswana, Canada, and Russia.

10 Major Minerals of the World

Here is the table which illustrates few major minerals, name of their ore, their chemical name, and primary locations −

Mineral

Ore

Chemical Name

Primary Locations

Coal

Coal

Carbon

United States, China, India

Iron

Hematite, Magnetite

Iron

Australia, Brazil, China

Bauxite

Bauxite

Aluminum Hydroxide

Australia, Guinea, Brazil

Copper

Chalcopyrite

Copper

Chile, Peru, United States

Gold

Gold nuggets

Gold

South Africa, Russia, United States

Silver

Silver ore

Silver

Mexico, Peru, China

Nickel

Pentlandite

Nickel-Iron Sulfide

Indonesia, Philippines, Russia

Phosphate

Apatite

Calcium Phosphate

Morocco, China, United States

Diamond

Kimberlite, Lamproite

Carbon

Russia, Botswana, Canada

Conclusion

Major minerals are important for many facets of human existence and industry. They are crucial for the creation of new infrastructure, energy, manufacturing, and technological developments. Each mineral has special qualities and uses that support the world economy and meet pressing requirements in various fields.

However, the mining and use of minerals can have an influence on the environment and society, emphasizing the significance of responsible resource management and sustainable mining techniques. It is easier to recognize the worth of key minerals and to strive toward their sustainable exploration, extraction, and use when we are aware of their significance.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is coal?

Coal is a fossil fuel formed from the remains of plants and is primarily composed of carbon.

What is the main use of iron?

Iron is mainly used in the production of steel, which is vital for construction, manufacturing, and transportation industries.

What is bauxite?

Bauxite is an ore that serves as the primary source of aluminum.

What are the major applications of copper?

Copper is widely used in electrical wiring, plumbing, and electronics due to its excellent conductivity and corrosion resistance.

What is the purity of gold in pure gold?

Pure gold, also known as 24-karat gold, is 100% gold, meaning it has a purity of 99.9% or higher.

What is the average iron content in iron ore?

Iron ore typically contains around 60% to 70% iron, although the exact percentage may vary depending on the specific deposit.

What is the primary function of zinc?

Zinc is essential for biological processes, and it is used in galvanization, batteries, and alloys.

What is the significance of nickel?

Nickel is used in the production of stainless steel and other alloys, providing strength and durability.

What is the main application of phosphate?

Phosphate is primarily used in fertilizers to enhance agricultural productivity.

What are diamonds known for?

Diamonds are prized for their exceptional brilliance, clarity, and durability, making them highly valued in the jewelry industry.

Updated on: 08-Nov-2023

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