Could you live without mining?

Mining is something most people never experience firsthand, yet they benefit from the products of mining every single day. From your smartphone to your vehicle, nearly all the items you come in contact with on a daily basis contain minerals and metals that were mined–many are currently mined right here in Utah. Scroll down and click the various + signs in each scene to learn which minerals are found in common household products.

  1. Television

    Platinum: Platinum is the most rare and precious metal on earth, even rarer than gold. It is used to make fiberglass, liquid-crystal display (LCD), flat-panel displays, and cathode ray tubes for your television viewing pleasure.

  2. Light Bulbs

    Tungsten: The filaments in lightbulbs are made of tungsten. Tungsten is used in high-temperature situations due to its abnormally high melting point and low vapor pressure. A metal must be heated to very high temperatures for it to be able to emit visible light.

  3. Wall

    Gypsum: Gypsum is used in drywall and plaster products. Most modern homes use drywall for the interior walls. In the United States, gypsum is mined in 19 states–including Utah.

  4. Alarm Clock

    Quartz: Quartz is one of the most common minerals in the Earth’s crust. It is also a piezoelectric material, which means quartz generates an electrical charge from pressure or stress. The quartz crystal serves as the oscillator, driving the small motor that spins the clock’s hands.

  1. Food

    Salt: Salt is essential for life of humans and animals. Not only is it used in food preparation across the world, salt also helps to control fluid balance in the body and the functioning of the muscular, nervous, and cardiovascular systems.

  2. Toaster

    Nickel: Nickel is used in the production of stainless steel, a strong material that doesn’t rust easily. It is a common material used in household appliances and is often used as a coating on other metals to help slow down corrosion.

  3. Stove

    Iron Ore: Iron Ore is resistant to high temperatures, wear, and corrosion and is used to make ovens and other heating appliances. 98% of the iron mined from around the world is processed into steel.

  4. Microwave

    Gold: Because it conducts electricity so well and resists corrosion, gold is present in almost every electronic appliance. Gold is used in connectors, switch and relay contacts, soldered joints, connecting wires, and connection strips.

  1. Aircraft

    Beryllium: Beryllium is vital to aerospace and military applications thanks to its low density, great strength, and high melting point. It is used extensively in NASA’s space efforts, including spacecraft, telescopes, and satellites. The world’s largest known beryllium resource is near Delta, Utah.

  2. Buildings

    Cement: About 75% of cement produced is used to make concrete, a versatile building material. Concrete is used to make buildings, bridges, sidewalks, walls, and many other structures. Cement is mined throughout the state of Utah.

  3. Trees/grass

    Potash: In agriculture, potash is the nutrient form of potassium and is used in fertilizer to ensure healthy plant growth. Potash was originally made by collecting wood ash in metal pots. This process left a white residue on the pot, referred to as “pot ash.”

  4. Bicycles

    Vanadium: Bike frames need to offer incredible strength and minimal weight. Vanadium is best suited to bike frames due to its strength, corrosion resistance, and fatigue endurance.

  1. Chair

    Gilsonite: Gilsonite’s unique properties offer a superior additive to binder and coating applications used on wooden items, such as chairs and desks. It is only mined in one place in the world, the Uintah Basin of Northeastern Utah.

  2. Computers

    Copper: Nearly all electronics are made with copper due to its superior conductivity. This, combined with its ductility, malleability, and ability to work within a wide range of power networks, makes it ideal for electrical wiring. Copper is mined near both Salt Lake City and Moab, Utah.

  3. Lamp

    Coal: More than half of the electricity generated in Utah comes from coal mined in the state. This helps keep bills low, benefiting many households and businesses.

  4. Tablet

    Silver: Almost all electronics contain silver. It has the highest electrical conductivity of all the elements which is why it is often used in electric wires and connections.

  1. Toothpaste

    Limestone: Once limestone is quarried, it is crushed, milled, and purified until it becomes calcium carbonate. It is a safe, natural ingredient in toothpaste, which acts as a mild abrasive that removes plaque and polishes away surface stains from teeth.

  2. Cleaning Product

    Phosphate: Phosphates are used in many household cleaners and detergents to help soften water and remove soil and grease. Phosphates are currently being mined near Vernal, Utah.

  3. Mirror

    Feldspar: In ceramics and glass production, feldspar improves hardness, durability, and corrosion control. Feldspar is also used as a fluxing agent that effectively lowers the melting temperature of another material, easily controlling the viscosity of glass.

  4. Soap

    Magnesium: Magnesium is found in many soaps and is used as an antiseptic. It helps reduce the possibility of infection and keeps the skin clean.

Could you live without mining?

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