What are Industrial Minerals and How it is Obtained?
A lot of people don’t know what industrial minerals. These in fact are things which are in fact very common in our daily lives. This is actually being used in processed or natural state for medications, glass, paint, medical devices and others more in both industrial and domestic products.
Industrial minerals also are defined as minerals which are not sources of metals, gemstones or fuel. Some of the most commonly used industrial minerals are limestones, clay, sand, bentonite, gravel, talc, pumice and so many more. Some industrial minerals are usually used in construction like gravel, sand and also cement, which are known to as aggregates.
An industrial mineral also is versatile with where most of them have at least two or more applications and it spans on multiple markets. One good example of this is talc, which actually is used in cosmetics, plastics as well as in paper. Though industrial minerals are usually defined to as non-metallic, some of them have metallurgical properties, which actually is the primary source of aluminum ore and it is also used to make abrasives and cement. There are also the barite and bentonite, which are non-fuel industrial minerals which has a crucial application with oil and gas extractions for components in drilling fluids.
Industrial minerals also are being valued for its chemical and physical properties, which makes them very useful for various products and its price is also driven by the demands on the market than by commodities exchange markets. The common reasons behind the market growth of such minerals is due to agriculture, manufacturing, housing markets and recovering construction.
Market demands on industrial minerals likewise influences with how they are mined. Such minerals are mostly being obtained through surface mining, which is found to be less expensive compared to the underground mining option. Though a certain location is also considered to have good amounts of mineral deposits, the costs on drilling, extractions and transporting raw materials needs to be considered against their current market demands on the market. The industrial minerals are usually being mined from existing sites or perhaps at areas which are close already to infrastructure because the price doesn’t justify the cost in building infrastructure that’s crucial for finding a new site.
Before any mining plan is developed, geologists will need to map out mineral distribution of the deposit by evaluating its geological process on what formed them. Once that it’s determined that there’s really a sufficient quantity of minerals which are present, a cost-effective mining will then be able to start and the geologist will study the lithology and other geochemical data for it to control and direct the whole mining procedures.