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  • Print publication year: 2012
  • Online publication date: November 2012

Chapter 16 - Some selected Earth materials resources

Summary

In this chapter, we provide short discussions of some selected major Earth material resources that are used in our everyday existence.

The construction industry is the biggest user by far of sand and gravel, together with cement, dimension stone, and common clay. Sand and gravel is mined in every country in the world.

Steel is a major component in high-rise construction, ships, cars, bridges, appliances, and armaments. Energy supplies cannot be effective without pipelines, furnaces, and engines, which are usually made of steel. The original source of the iron used in steel making is found in iron-ore deposits, which are the iron-enriched products of sedimentary iron-formations. Iron deposits occur in most countries but large to very large iron deposits are restricted in number.

Clay minerals are hydrous aluminum silicates with layered structures that occur with a grain size of <2 µm in the largest dimension. Kaolinite (Sec. 10.4), Al2Si2O5(OH)4, is a primary constituent of kaolin. Another clay mineral, montmorillonite, with the approximate formula of (Na,Ca)0.3(Al,Mg)2Si4O10(OH)2nH2O, is the dominant clay mineral of bentonite, a major constituent of volcanic ash. This material has many technical applications. Vermiculite with an idealized formula of Mg3(Si,Al)4O10(OH)2· 4.5H2O[Mg]0.35 is another clay used in various commercial applications.

ONLINE RESOURCES
http://www.kennecott.com/sustainable-development/environmental-stewardship/legacy-clean-up-issues
http://www.geodynamics.com.au
FURTHER READING
Rapp, G. R. 2002 ArchaeomineralogySpringer-VerlagBerlin
Bentonites, versatile clays 2009 Elements 5 83
Bish, D. L.Ming, D. W. 2001 Natural Zeolites: Occurrences, Properties, ApplicationsReviews in Mineralogy and Geochemistry
Blackwell, D. D.Negraru, P. T.Richards, M. C. 2006 Assessment of the enhanced geothermal system resource base of the United StatesNatural Resources Research 15 283www.springerlink.com/content/b0772778x9106566
Kogel, J. E.Trivedi, N. C.Baker, J. M.Krukowsk, S. T. 2006
1994
Kesler, S. E. 1994 Mineral Resources, Economics, and the EnvironmentMacmillan College PublishingNew York
Obstler, M. 2000 Out of the Earth and into the Fire: A Course in Ceramic Materials for the Studio PotterAmerican Ceramic SocietyWesterville, OH
Mine Wastes 2011 Elements 7
Wright, L. 2010 Lithium Dreams: Can Bolivia Become the Saudi Arabia of the Electric Car Era?New Yorker 22 48