Minerals and Energy Resources

What clicks in your mind when you read the term ‘mineral’. Is that too difficult to judge what minerals are or where they came from? Let us understand from this article.

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Rocks are a combination of homogeneous substances called minerals. They play a vital role in our daily life, be it the food we eat or the pencil we use, all are made from minerals. They can be as hard as diamond and as soft as talcum powder.

Now, you may wonder where these minerals occur from? Minerals are extracted from ores (accumulation of any mineral mixed with different elements). They occur mainly in 5 forms:

·         In igneous and metamorphic rocks: Larger ones are called ‘lodes’ and smaller called ‘veins’.

Example: Copper, Zinc

·          In sedimentary rocks: a number of minerals are found in the form of layers.

Example: Coal.

·         Decomposition of rocks: Example: Bauxite

·         Alluvial Deposits: Generally found in the alluvial sand and are non-corrosive in nature.

Example: Gold, Silver

·         In Ocean water: Ocean water is a rich source of minerals.

Example: Magnesium salt.

The following chart shows the classification of minerals:

 

 The basic difference between metallic and non-metallic minerals are:

Metallic minerals are composed of metals in their original form whereas non-metallic minerals do not contain metals. Looking at the current scenario of consumption of our mineral resources, we really need to conserve them. As the rate of consumption is faster than the rate of replenishment.

Energy resources can be classified into two main categories:

1.     Conventional Energy Resources:

·         As the name suggests, they are the old resources and are being used for a longer time.

·         They are Non-renewable ( gets depleted once used).

·         Examples: Coal, Petroleum, Natural gas etc.

2.     Non-Conventional Energy Resources:

·         These resources are the newer ones and are still under development.

·         They are Renewable ( can be used again and again).

·         Example: Solar energy, Wind energy, Biogas etc.