What are Industrial Minerals and its Purpose?
Many people these days still don’t know what industrial minerals are. These in fact are things which are in fact very common in our daily lives. It is being used in processed or in natural state in order to make building materials, ceramics, paint, glass, medications, medical devices and a whole lot more in both domestic and industrial products.
Industrial metals actually are generally defined to as minerals which are not sources of fuel, metals or gemstones. 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.
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 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 are also bentonite as well as barite which are actually non-fuel industrial minerals and plays a crucial application for oil and gas extractions as the components in 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. The common reasons behind the market growth of such minerals is due to agriculture, manufacturing, housing markets and recovering construction.
The market demands on industrial minerals also influences how they are actually being 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. 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.