Why is Economic Geology Important?
The importance of Economic Geology
Everything we have and everything we use comes from our natural resources. If it's not grown, it's mined. Most of the items we use and consume are actual mineral products or they are manufactured from or grown with mineral products. Even agricultural products are produced with the use of mineral products - from fertilizing to harvesting to packaging and, finally, distribution to the consumer.
Virtually no aspect of our lifestyle could be sustained without minerals. Minerals are used in every facet of our daily living from food production and processing, building, providing shelter/housing to transport, communications, medicine and leisure activities.
Therefore, we must explore for and efficiently develop our natural mineral resources.
Industrial minerals include all minerals that are being mined for the physical properties that they have, or that they impart on products in which they are being used rather that for their metal-contents. They are generally low-priced commodities when compared to most metals and are sold in bulk.
The most important industrial minerals applications and some commodities for these applications are:
Abrasives - silica sand, garnet, staurolite
Agricultural industry - phosphates, natural zeolites, agricultural lime and dolomite, micas, gypsum
Brick-making, ceramic, glazing and glass raw material - silica sand, quartzite, feldspar, talc, pyrophyllite, nepheline syenite, limestone and wollastonite kaolinitic clay, soda-ash
Construction industry - normal and light weight aggregates, sand and gravels, cement, dimension stone, insulation, gypsum, pigments