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Mineral Resources

EARTH SCIENCE
SEATWORK #5
SEATWORK #5 (BY GROUP, 5 MINUTES)
IDENTIFY WHICH MINERALS WERE USED TO MAKE
THE FOLLOWING HOUSEHOLD ITEMS:
• Glass
• Jewelry
• Sugar
• Toothpaste
• Door knob

WRITE IT ON A WHOLE INTERMEDIATE PAPER (BE IT


ON LIST OR TABULAR FORM).
PICK THE MINERALS FROM THE LIST BELOW:
• Antimony • Silica
• Feldspar • Quartz
• Limestone • Sodium carbonate
• Gold • Zinc
• Lime • Platinum
• Diamonds • Lead
• Fluorite • Cobalt
• Calcium carbonate • Titanium
• Mica • Halite
• Silver • Iodine
• Nickel • Chromium
MINERAL AS A
RESOURCE
PRE-DISCUSSION
• Mineral Occurrence – concentration of a mineral that is
of scientific or technical interest
• Mineral Deposit – mineral occurrence of sufficient size
and grade or concentration to enable extraction under
the most favorable conditions
• Ore – naturally-occurring material from which a
mineral or minerals of economic value can be
extracted.
• Ore Deposit – mineral deposit that has been tested and
known to be economically profitable to mine.
• Aggregate – rock or mineral material used as filler in
cement, asphalt, plaster, etc; generally used to describe
nonmetallic deposits
MINERAL DEPOSITS

• Most rocks of the Earth's crust contain metals and


other elements but at very low concentrations
• There are naturally occurring processes (geologic
processes) that can concentrate minerals and
elements in rocks of a particular area.
TYPES OF MINERAL RESOURCES:
METALLIC AND NONMETALLIC

• Metallic mineral deposits: gold, silver, copper,


platinum, iron
• Non-metallic resources: talc, fluorite, sulfur, sand,
gravel
OCCURRENCE OF MINERAL RESOURCES
• The geologic processes involved in the rock cycle
play major role in the accumulation and
concentration of valuable elements/ minerals.
• Plate Tectonics: deposits minerals in certain areas.
CLASSIFICATION OF ORE MINERALS

• Magmatic Ore Deposits


• valuable substances are concentrated within an igneous
body through magmatic processes such as crystal
fractionation, partial melting and crystal settling.
• magmatic processes can concentrate the ore minerals that
contain valuable substances after accumulating elements
that were once widely dispersed and in low
concentrations within the magma.
CLASSIFICATION OF ORE MINERALS

• Hydrothermal Ore Deposits


• concentration of valuable substances by hot aqueous
(water-rich) fluids flowing through fractures and pore
spaces in rocks
• hydrothermal solutions - are hot, residual watery fluids
derived during the later stages of magma crystallization
and may contain large amount of dissolved metals.
• There are numerous hydrothermal mineral deposits as
compared to the different types of deposits: Vein Type,
Disseminated, Massive Sulfide, and Stratabound Deposits
CLASSIFICATION OF ORE MINERALS
• Hydrothermal Ore Deposit
CLASSIFICATION OF ORE MINERALS

• Sedimentary Ore Deposits


• Some valuable substances are concentrated by chemical
precipitation coming from lakes or seawater
• Evaporite Deposits: This type of deposit typically occurs in
a closed marine environment where evaporation is greater
than water inflow. As most of the water evaporates, the
dissolved substances become more concentrated in the
residual water and would eventually precipitate.
• Iron Formation: These deposits are made up of repetitive
thin layers of iron-rich chert and several other iron bearing
minerals such as hematite and magnetite.
CLASSIFICATION OF ORE MINERALS

• Placer Ore Deposits


• Deposits formed by the concentration of valuable
substances through gravity separation during sedimentary
processes.
• Usually aided by flowing surface waters either in streams
or along coastlines.
• Usually involves heavy minerals that are resistant to
transportation and weathering.
CLASSIFICATION OF ORE MINERALS

• Residual Ore Deposits


• A type of deposit that results from the accumulation of
valuable materials through chemical weathering
processes.
• During the process, the volume of the original rock is
greatly reduced by leaching.
• Important factors for the formation of residual deposit
include parent rock composition, climate (tropical and
sub-tropical: must be favorable for chemical decay) and
relief (must not be high to allow accumulation)
• Common deposits are bauxites and nickeliferous laterites.
MINING PROCESS AND
ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT
MINERAL RESOURCES

A mineral resource is a concentration or


occurrence of material of intrinsic economic
interest on the earth’s crust in such form and
quantity that there are reasonable prospects
for eventual economic extraction.
MINERAL RESOURCES
The U.S. Geological Survey classifies mineral
resources into four major categories:
Identified: known location, quantity, and
quality or existence known based on direct
evidence and measurements.
Undiscovered: potential supplies that are
assumed to exist.
Reserves: identified resources that can be
extracted profitably.
Other: undiscovered or identified resources
not classified as reserves
MINERAL RESOURCES
Examples are
fossil fuels
(coal, oil),
metallic
minerals
(copper, iron),
and
nonmetallic
minerals
(sand, gravel).
TYPES OF MINING MINERALS
A variety of methods are used
based on mineral depth.
Surface mining: shallow deposits
are removed.
Underground mining: deep
deposits are removed.
SURFACE MINING
SURFACE MINING

-Utilized to extract ore minerals that are close to


Earth’s surface
- Different types include open pit mining, quarrying,
placer mining and strip mining.
TYPES OF SURFACE MINING
Open-pit Mining
• Machines dig holes
and remove ores,
sand, gravel, and
stone.
• Toxic groundwater
can accumulate at
the bottom.
TYPES OF SURFACE MINING
Area Strip Mining
• Earth movers strips
away overburden, and
giant shovels removes
mineral deposit.
• Often leaves highly
erodible hills of rubble
called spoil banks.
TYPES OF SURFACE MINING
QUARRY • a place from which dimension
stone, rock, construction
aggregate, riprap, sand, gravel,
or slate has been excavated from
the ground.

• The only non-trivial difference


between the quarry and open pit
is that open-pit mines that
produce building materials and
dimension stone are commonly
referred to as quarries.
TYPES OF SURFACE MINING
Contour Strip Mining • Used on hilly or
mountainous
terrain.
• Unless the land is
restored, a wall of
dirt is left in front of
a highly erodible
bank called a
highwall.
TYPES OF SURFACE MINING
Mountaintop Removal
Machinery removes the
tops of mountains to expose
coal.
The resulting waste rock
and dirt are dumped into
the streams and valleys
below.
UNDERGROUND MINING
UNDERGROUND MINING
Utilized to extract
ore minerals from
the orebody that is
deep under the
Earth’s surface
MILLING RECOVERY METHOD
MILLING RECOVERY METHODS
1. Heavy media separation: The crushed rocks are submerged in liquid
where the heavier/denser minerals sink thus are separated from the
lighter minerals.

2. Magnetic separation: If the metal or mineral


is magnetic, the crushed ore is separated
from the waste materials using a powerful
magnet.
MILLING RECOVERY METHOD
MILLING RECOVERY METHODS
3. Flotation: The powdered ore is placed into an
agitated and frothy slurry where some minerals
may either sink to the bottom or may stick to the
bubbles and rise to the top thus separating the
minerals and metals from the waste.

4. Cyanide heap leaching: This method used for


low-grade gold ore where the crushed rock is
placed on a “leach pile” where cyanide solution is
sprayed or dripped on top of the pile.
ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT
Mining impacts on the environment
Strip mining causes severe
soil erosion and chemical
runoff
-Acid drainage = sulfide
minerals on exposed
rock surfaces react with
oxygen and rainwater to
produce sulfuric acid
-Mountaintop removal
causes enormous
damage
ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT

Metal ores are smelted


or treated with
(potentially toxic)
chemicals to extract the
desired metal.
ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT
Subsurface mining is harmful to human health
• Mine shaft collapses
• Inhalation of coal dust can lead to fatal black lung
disease
Costs to repair damages of mining are very high
• These costs are not included in the market prices of
fossil fuels, which are kept inexpensive by
government subsidies
Mining companies must restore landscapes, but the
impacts are still severe
• Looser of restrictions in 2002 allowed companies to
dump rock and soil into valleys, regardless of the
consequences
Natural Capital Degradation
Extracting, Processing, and Using Nonrenewable Mineral and Energy Resources

Steps Environmental effects


Mining Disturbed land; mining
accidents; health hazards,
Exploration, mine waste dumping, oil
extraction spills and blowouts; noise;
ugliness; heat
Processing
Transportation, Solid wastes; radioactive
material; air, water, and
purification,
soil pollution; noise;
manufacturing safety and health
Use hazards; ugliness; heat

Transportation or Noise; ugliness; thermal


transmission to water pollution; pollution
of air, water, and soil;
individual user, solid and radioactive
eventual use, and wastes; safety and health
discarding hazards; heat

Fig. 15-10, p. 344


ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT
SHORT QUIZ #5
• WRITE THE BEST ANSWER FOR THE
FOLLOWING QUESTIONS
1. What is the importance of the different stages of
exploration? (2pts)
2. In a newly acquired mineral project for exploration, is it
possible to immediately drill in the area even without any
subsurface investigation (e.g. geophysics and trenching)?
(3 pts)
3. Describe some methods used in surface mining. (2 pts)
4. An open-pit mine may in the future be converted into an
underground mine. Why would this happen? (3 pts)
5. Enumerate several ways to rehabilitate a mined-out area.
(2 pts)
6. How is it possible for materials presently considered as
waste become economically mineable in the future? (2
pts)
REFERENCES
• Tarbuck, E. Lutgens, and F.Tasa, D., Earth Science: 13th Edition, pp 45 – 47
• Carlson, D. H., Plummer, C. C., Hammersley L., Physical Geology Earth
Revealed 9thed, 2011, pp564-566
• Marshak, S., Essentials of Geology, 4th ed., 2013, pp 379-383
• https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xmXT1YgfoTA.
• https://mining.cat.com/cda/files/2786351/7/GroundRules-
MineralsEverydayLife-15-18.pdf
• http://www.tulane.edu/~sanelson/eens1110/minresources.htm.
• http://encyclopedia2.thefreedictionary.com/hydrothermal+solution.
• http://www.britannica.com/science/hydrothermal-solution.
• http://earthsci.org/mineral/mindep/depfile/vei_dep.htm.
• http://geology.com/rocks/pegmatite.shtml.
• Frank, D., Galloway, J., Assmus, K., The Life Cycle of a Mineral Deposit –
A Teacher’s Guide for Hands-On Mineral Education Activities, USGS
General Information Product 17, 2005