What are Industrial Minerals and How it is Obtained?
A lot of people don’t know what industrial minerals. These are actually things that’s 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.
An industrial mineral is defined generally as minerals which are not sources of gemstones or fuel or metals. Some examples of commonly used industrial minerals would be clay, limestones, bentonite, sand, talc, gravel, pumice and so many more others. 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.
An industrial mineral also is versatile with where most of them have at least two or more applications and it spans on multiple markets. An example for this would be talc where it is used in plastics, cosmetics and paper. Though industrial minerals are considered to be non-metallic, there are in fact some which have metallurgical properties, which actually is the main source of aluminum ore and is also being 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.
The industrial minerals also are valued on its chemical and physical traits, making it very useful for different products and that its price is driven by the demands on the market than by the commodity 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. These minerals are extracted mainly through surface mining, which is actually less expensive compared to underground mining. 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. Industrial minerals are usually mined from existing sites or in areas to which are close to infrastructure because its price don’t justify on the cost of building up infrastructure that’s needed for finding a new site.
Before a mining plan is developed, geologists will need to map out mineral distributions of the deposit by implementing evaluations on the geological process which formed them. After it has been determined that there’s a sufficient quantity of minerals that are present and a cost-effective mining could start on it, the geologist will then study the lithology and also other geochemical data in order to control and direct the entire mining process.