A Group Of Plants And Animals With The Same Characteristics The Most Useful Minerals Known to Man

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The Most Useful Minerals Known to Man

Minerals are not living, ie coal is not a mineral because it is made from decomposed plants and animals. Although inorganic and chemical in composition, minerals are not man-made. They exist naturally in soil or water.

From copper to cement and sand to iron ore, human beings use minerals in hundreds of forms every day. We rely on minerals for their vital contribution to our modern way of life.

Some of the most useful minerals, in terms of quantity used worldwide and range of uses, are as follows.

When considered as a group, stone has the highest consumption of any mineral.

Stone is divided into two types, crushed stone and dimensional stone. Crushed stone is produced from rock that is blasted out of the ground and then crushed and ground. Limestone, dolomite and granite are the most common types of crushed stone. Crushed stone is used as an aggregate (in a mixture of ingredients) in construction and cement making. Dimension stone is mined to make blocks of specific dimensions, size and shape and usually has the potential to be polished. Examples of dimension stones are sandstone, marble, slate, limestone and granite. In construction, rough blocks are often used, but for decoration dressed stone would be more likely for flagstones, monuments or sculptures.

Sand and gravel are used to make concrete to build buildings, large pipes, for example to transport water and asphalt for roads.

Cement is made by heating limestone and mixing it with some other materials such as clay. Cement is a key ingredient in concrete and is used in construction.

Iron ore is processed to produce steel. Steel is a key component in most of our buildings, whether in piping or the structural steel around which buildings are built, as well as in the construction of machinery. Manganese is also a key component in most steels.

Salt has a wide variety of uses. It is used in food, agriculture, many chemicals, and in many cold climates, large quantities are used to remove ice from roads,

Clay is used in ceramics, to make tiles, toilets and other bathroom accessories, containers, bricks and cement.

Aluminum (bauxite) has many uses from refrigerators to beverage bottles and in fabrication or cars and airplanes.

After steel and aluminum, copper is one of the most useful metals. With high electrical conductivity, it has many electrical and electronic uses. Copper pipes are also used in plumbing.

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