Energy and Minerals

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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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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 Spodumene
March 23, 2017

Spodumene

Mineral origin: Hallman Beam Mine, Cherryville, NC
Primary mineral commodity: Lithium
Uses: batteries for cell phones, laptops, and electric and hybrid vehicles

Close up of Alumina-Zirconia
March 23, 2017

Alumina-Zirconia Abrasive

Mineral: Alumina-Zirconia Abrasive
Mineral Origin: Manufactured in Huntsville, AL (Sample on loan from J.B. Hedrick)
Primary Commodity: Aluminum and zirconia
Primary Commodity Uses: This abrasive is primarily used in metal casting and the foundry process

Close up of Chalcopyrite
March 23, 2017

Chalcopyrite

Mineral: Chalcopyrite
Mineral Origin: Bingham Canyon, UT
Primary Commodity: Copper
Primary Commodity Uses: Copper is used primarily in electronics, mostly in building construction and industrial electronics.

Full view of salt, sodium, chlorine sample
March 23, 2017

Salt, Sodium, Chlorine

Mineral: Halite (NaCl)
Primary mineral Commodity: Salt
Commodity Uses: Highway deicing accounted for about 44% of total salt consumed in 2016. Salt is also used as feedstock for chlorine and caustic soda manufacture; these two inorganic chemicals are used to make many consumer-related end-use products, such as

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Close up of Sphalerite
March 23, 2017

Sphalerite

Sphalerite, zinc sulfide, is and has been the principal ore mineral in the world. Zinc uses range from metal products to rubber and medicines. Zinc alloys readily with other metals and is chemically active. On exposure to air, it develops a thin gray oxide film (patina), which inhibits deeper oxidation (corrosion) of the metal. The metal’s resistance to corrosion is an

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Close up of Chromite
March 23, 2017

Chromite

Mineral: Chromite
Mineral Origin: Owings Mills, MD
Primary Commodity: Chromium
Primary Commodity Uses: Chromium mostly goes into stainless steel and other alloys, as well as in color pigments.

Close up of salt, sodium, chlorine
March 23, 2017

Salt, Sodium, Chlorine

Mineral: Halite (NaCl)
Primary mineral Commodity: Salt
Commodity Uses: Highway deicing accounted for about 44% of total salt consumed in 2016. Salt is also used as feedstock for chlorine and caustic soda manufacture; these two inorganic chemicals are used to make many consumer-related end-use products, such as

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Close up Stibnite
March 23, 2017

Stibnite

Stibnite (Sb2S3) is the predominant ore mineral of antimony. Antimony compounds help prevent skin burns, increase battery life, and refine glass used for cellphones. A surprising 83% of antimony consumed stateside is imported—mostly from China—leaving the US susceptible to supply disruption. The largest domestic antimony resource (estimated at 41,000 tonnes) is in a meso-

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Close up of Chalcopyrite, Pentlandite, and Pyrrhotite
March 23, 2017

Chalcopyrite, Pentlandite, and Pyrrhotite

Mineral: Chalcopyrite, Pentlandite, Pyrrhotite
Mineral Origin: Creighton Mine, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada (Sample on loan from George J. Coakley)
Primary Commodity: Copper and nickel
Primary Commodity Uses: Copper is used primarily in electronics, mostly in building construction and industrial

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Full view of Molybdenite
March 23, 2017

Molybdenite

Mineral: Molybdenite
Mineral Origin: Henderson Mine, Empire, CO
Primary Mineral Commodity: Molybdenum
Mineral Commodity Uses: In the late 19th century, French metallurgists discovered that molybdenum, when alloyed (mixed) with steel in small quantities, creates a substance that is remarkably

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