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. 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 minerals also are defined as minerals which are not sources of metals, gemstones or fuel. Some examples of commonly used industrial minerals would be clay, limestones, bentonite, sand, talc, gravel, pumice and so many more others. Some of the industrial minerals are being used in construction such as cement, gravel and sand that are known to as aggregates.
Another fact about industrial minerals is that they are really versatile where most of them have at least about two or more applications and 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 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 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.
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 common things that greatly contributes on the demand and growth of such materials would be in agriculture, manufacturing and on recovering construction and housing markets.
The market demands for industrial minerals likewise influence on how they are 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. After that it has been determined that there really is a sufficient amount of minerals present on the area, a cost-effective mining could then be started and the geologist then studies the lithology and other geochemical data so it could control and direct the overall mining process.