What are Industrial Minerals and its Purpose?
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 in fact is being used in natural or in processed state in building materials, glass, medications, ceramics, paint, medical devices and many more in domestic and industrial products.
An industrial mineral is defined generally as minerals which are not sources of gemstones or fuel or metals. The commonly used industrial minerals would be clay, limestones, gravel, sand, bentonite, pumice, talc and a whole lot more. Some of the common industrial minerals are in fact being used in construction like sand, gravel and cement, which in fact are known to as aggregates.
Industrial minerals also are very versatile to where most have at least about two or more applications and also span on multiple markets. An example for this would be talc where it is used in plastics, cosmetics and paper. Though industrial minerals are being defined to as non-metallic, there are some that have metallurgical properties, which in fact is the main source of aluminum ore and this is also used in making cement and abrasives. There likewise are brite and bentonite that are non-fuel industrial minerals that plays a crucial application on oil and gas extractions for components on 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. Some of the most common reason as to why such minerals continue to grow on the market is because of manufacturing, agriculture, housing markets as well as in recovering construction.
The market demands for industrial minerals likewise influence on how they are being mined. Minerals like these are usually extracted mainly through surface mining, which would be less expensive than the underground mining option. Though a location is determined to have good mineral deposits, the costs of extractions and drilling and transporting the raw materials should also be considered against the current market demand for such mineral. Industrial minerals in fact are mostly mined from existing sites or perhaps in areas that are already close to infrastructure because the price will not justify the cost of building up infrastructure which is essential in 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.