Some common minerals have uses that may not be widely known.
Quartz is able to rotate the plane of polarization of light and is also transparent in ultraviolet light, making it perfect for use in heat-ray lamps, as well as prism and spectrographic lenses. It is also used in the manufacturing of glass, paints, abrasives, refractory materials and precision instruments.
Bauxite is a rock mineral composed of hydrated aluminium oxides. It is most commonly converted to aluminium, which is the second most used metal globally after steel. Aluminium is primarily used in the manufacturing of automobiles, but is also used in building construction and packaging.
- aircraft gas turbine engines
- cemented carbides for cutting tools
- wear-resistant applications
- chemicals such as paint dryers, catalysts and magnetic coatings
- permanent magnets
Tin, tantalum and tungsten
These three minerals are used in the manufacturing of computers, both laptops and desktops, and mobile phones.
- In production of hydrofluoric acid, which is used in the pottery, ceramics, optical, electroplating and plastics industries
- In the metallurgical treatment of bauxite
- As a flux in open hearth steel furnaces and in metal smelting
- In carbon electrodes
- Emery wheels
- Electric arc welders
- In paint pigment
- A key ingredient in the processing of aluminum and uranium
- Jewellery and arts
- Dentistry and medicine
- Medallions and coins
- Stores as a measure of value
- Scientific and electronic instruments
- The electroplating industry as an electrolyte.