The newsLINK Group - Our Dependence on Mining

Editorial Library Category: Mining Topics: Mining Title: Our Dependence on Mining Author: newsLINK Staff Synopsis: It’s fair to say that most people really don’t appreciate mining much, because they don’t think it has that big an effect on their lives. Mining — and the benefits it gives all of us — often seem invisible, because the results of the mining are usually not sold to you directly; instead, they form the essential materials that create many of the products you use every day. Editorial: Our Dependence on Mining 4064 South Highland Drive, Millcreek, Utah 84124 │ thenewslinkgroup.com │ (v) 801.676.9722 │ (tf) 855.747.4003 │ (f) 801.742.5803 Editorial Library | © The newsLINK Group LLC 1 It’s fair to say that most people really don’t appreciate mining much, because they don’t think it has that big an effect on their lives. Mining — and the benefits it gives all of us — often seem invisible, because the results of the mining are usually not sold to you directly; instead, they form the essential materials that create many of the products you use every day. If you consider the products instead of just the mined materials, you’ll quickly realize just how big a benefit they really are, and how much your life would be affected if you didn’t have them. According t o www.mine-engineer.com , mining and the products made from mined materials are worth more than $33 billion annually. How many pounds of mined materials do Americans buy each year? It’s an impressive 47,000 pounds per person. The question then becomes, how is that number even possible? Start with anything that involves electrical power, such as lights, computers, or televisions. (Just as an example, the average computer uses 66 different minerals. Televisions use materials such as aluminum, copper, iron, silica, and nickel.) Mining provided the copper and aluminum in the power lines for electricity, and it also provided the metals such as cadmium, lead, lithium, and nickel that are used in batteries for cell phones, MP3 players, or hybrid cars, for those who own any or all of these devices. Modern electronics is based on semiconductors, which use materials such as silicon, germanium, gallium arsenide, and silicon carbide. The manufacturing of the crystalline silicon for semiconductors requires the addition of boron and phosphorus to the melt. Two of the biggest markets for mined products are anything connected to the building industry or to travel. Consider houses first. It’s not just tools or hardware. Cement, glass, iron-steel, ceiling or ceramic tiles, roofing materials, aluminum products, windows and mirrors, drywall and plaster, the plumbing throughout your home and the porcelain in your bathroom, the counters and the containers you store things in are all made possible because of mining. Mining is also involved in supporting the construction of roads and bridges, railroads, cars, ships, boats, and planes. NASA’s projects would be impossible without mining, and mining is even involved in manufacturing the rubber for your tires. Another important area made possible by mining is anything involving fire or explosions, ranging from something as small as matches to anything as major as bombs, firearms, and fireworks. The military, in particular, needs both bombs and firearms; private citizens may not need bombs, but many of them certainly do value the right to bear arms as defined in the Constitution. Imagine the 4 th of July and the 24 th of July without major displays of fireworks, or so much as even a small, driveway-sized celebration with a bucket of water and small children watching from a safe distance while the grownups put on a show for them. Imagine trying to light scented candles, or candles for a romantic evening, minus the matches. Women rely on mining in at least one unexpected way: gemstones and the metals mined to make beautiful jewelry, such as gold and silver, are not a surprise; but did you know that makeup sometimes also benefits from mined materials? Cosmetic companies have been making mineral makeup since the 1970s. The advantages for using cosmetics made from materials such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide include the fact that it might possibly provide some UV protection, is mild, is an anti-inflammatory, doesn’t clog pores or trigger allergic reactions, and doesn’t require many of the ingredients you’ll find in other products: no preservatives such as parabens, no dyes, no binders, waxes, fragrances, talc or other chemicals. It makes a woman look younger because it doesn’t emphasize creases, lines, and wrinkles, and it even hydrates the skin. Just like any makeup, it should be used with restraint and prudence, and of course it’s a good idea to wash everything off at night, but the advantages from using

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