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From Projectile Points to Microprocessors - The Influence of Some Industrial Minerals

October 17, 2007

In the language of economic geology, Earth materials are classified as metallic ores, fuel minerals, gemstones, and industrial minerals. Most people know that metallic ores yield shiny, conductive, ductile elements such as copper, iron, or gold. Most understand that energy-producing coals constitute a fuel mineral. Likewise, dazzling rubies and rare sapphires are universally recognized as gemstones. The fourth group, industrial minerals, is largely unknown to the general public, even though industrial minerals are as essential to daily life as metals and fuel minerals. This report examines the occurrence and practical uses of nine important industrial minerals - constituting just a few of the more than 50 industrial minerals that shape human culture.