Energy and Minerals

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March 31, 2017

Drilling a Research Well in the Eagle Ford

USGS scientists drill a research well near Waco, Texas, as part of the assessment of oil and gas resources in the Eagle Ford Group.  Cores like these provide information on the various rock layers, such as their make-up, their age, etc. 

Close up of Silver
March 23, 2017

Tetrahedrite

Mineral: Tetrahedrite (a copper antimony sulfosalt)
Mineral Origin: Bingham Canyon, UT
Main Commodity: Silver
Uses: electric wiring and silver-based inks create electrical pathways in electronics; jewelry, mirrors, coins, in photovoltaic cells to transform sunlight into electricity.

Close up of Feldspar
March 23, 2017

Feldspar

Mineral: Feldspar
Primary Commodity: Feldspar
Primary Commodity Uses: Feldspar is one of the most common minerals on the planet and is mostly used for glassmaking and ceramics.

Close up of Garnet Schist
March 23, 2017

Garnet Schist

Mineral: Garnet Schist
Primary Commodity: Garnet
Primary Commodity Uses: Garnet is mostly used for abrasives, water filtration, and some electronics

Close up of Silicon Carbide
March 23, 2017

Silicon Carbide

Mineral: Silicon Carbide
Mineral Origin: Sample donated by Norton Company
Primary Commodity: Silica (abrasive)
Primary Commodity Uses: Just as their name implies, abrasives are used to abrade, clean, etch, grind, polish, scour, or otherwise remove material

Close up of Silicon Carbide
March 23, 2017

Silicon Carbide

Mineral: Silicon Carbide
Mineral Origin: Sample donated by Norton Company
Primary Commodity: Silica (abrasive)
Primary Commodity Uses: Just as their name implies, abrasives are used to abrade, clean, etch, grind, polish, scour, or otherwise remove material

Close up of Silicon Carbide
March 23, 2017

Silicon Carbide

Mineral: Silicon Carbide
Mineral Origin: Sample donated by Norton Company
Primary Commodity: Silica (abrasive)
Primary Commodity Uses: Just as their name implies, abrasives are used to abrade, clean, etch, grind, polish, scour, or otherwise remove material

Close up of Vanadinite
March 23, 2017

Vanadinite

Mineral: Vanadinite
Mineral Origin: J.C. Holmes Claim, Patagonia, AZ (Sample donated by G. van Oss)
Primary Commodity: Vanadium
Primary Commodity Uses: Vanadium is used mostly in metal alloys, primarily in car parts and jet engines. The United States is currently 100% reliant on foreign

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Close up of Tungsten Ore - Wolframite
March 23, 2017

Wolframite

Mineral: Wolframite
Primary Commodity: Tungsten
Primary Commodity Uses: Tungsten is one of the densest metals on the planet, and therefore gets used in metalworking and construction, as well as in heat sinks, weights, and even vibrating batteries.

Close up of Rutile
March 23, 2017

Rutile

Mineral: Rutile
Primary Commodity: Titanium
Primary Commodity Uses: The vast majority of titanium is used in whiteners in the form of titanium oxide. Titanium metal makes up a comparatively small amount of the use for titanium, but as a metal it is used in metal coatings and medical implants.

Close up of Bismuthinite
March 23, 2017

Bismuthinite

Primary Commodity: Bismuth

Primary Commodity Uses: Bismuth is the heaviest of the heavy metals and the only non-toxic one at that. As such, it’s seen a lot of use in replacements for lead, as well as in medications and atomic research.

Close up of Fluorite
March 23, 2017

Fluorite

Mineral: Fluorite
Mineral Origin: Cave-in-Rock District, IL (Sample donated by H.B. Wood)
Primary Commodity: Fluorspar 
Primary Commodity Uses: Fluorspar is used directly or indirectly to manufacture products such as aluminum, gasoline, insulating foams, refrigerants, steel, and uranium fuel

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