MINERAL RESOURCES: what are they, classification, examples and importance - Summary

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There are many resources that planet Earth offers us, both renewable resources and non-renewable resources. Some of them are water, wood, biofuels, solar energy, wind energy and fossil fuels, among others. This article will focus on mineral resources, resources considered as non-renewable of great importance for the economic development of human beings, since they are used for innumerable industrial processes. Not all mineral resources have the same value, for example graphite and silver have different properties and are used for different products. One of the uses for silver is to make jewelry, and one use for graphite, among many others, is to make the point of pencils.

If you want to know what mineral resources are and what they are for, among other details, continue reading this interesting article by Ecologist Verde where it will be explained in detail what are mineral resources, their classification, examples and importance.

What are mineral resources

Most mineral resources are non-renewable, that is, the mineral reserves are exhaustibleSince planet Earth contains fixed amounts of them, so the exploitation of the deposits where they are found is limited. These are extracted from the surface areas of the Earth: crust, hydrosphere, atmosphere, representing only 0.4% of the total land mass. Once these are extracted, they are used as raw material in different industrial processes. The extraction of these is carried out by different types of mining, depending on the type of mineral that is being extracted. In addition, both the mantle and the core of the Earth, for now, are inaccessible to existing technologies, so it is not possible to consider their mining potential.

Here you can learn more about Mineral Extraction. Also, we encourage you to learn about the Difference between mineral, rock and crystal.

Classification of mineral resources

In the classification of mineral resources You can find metallic and non-metallic mineral resources, as well as mineral and energy resources and industrial minerals and rocks:

  • Metallic: These contain metallic elements either associated or constituting their nucleus. Thanks to this association with metal, it makes them have characteristic properties of it, such as electrical conduction, magnetism or brightness. Metallic natural resources are among the most abundant on the planet, but their slow natural production makes them non-renewable. They are being extracted at a higher rate than their production naturally.
  • Not metallic: The composition of these resources are non-metallic chemical elements characterized by properties different from metallic ones, so they are not good conductors of electricity, they do not respond to magnetism and they do not have brightness.
  • Mineral and energy resources: are those mineral resources from which energy can be produced and consumed, some of them are natural gas, oil, coal, sulfur, radioactive minerals, among others.

We also recommend you to know the Types of igneous rocks, their characteristics and classification and the Types of sedimentary rocks and their classification.

Examples of mineral resources

Already mentioned how mineral resources are classifiedHere are some examples of them:


  • Magnetite: Its composition is made up of iron and other elements, it has been its ferromagnetic properties that have allowed the human being to know magnetism.
  • Bauxite: Its main component is aluminum, it is a soft and very abundant rock.
  • The native gold: It has a great commercial value, since it is mainly used in the manufacture of jewelry.

Not metallic

  • Pyrite: It is a mineral whose composition is made up of iron and sulfur, and is apparently similar to gold. It is characterized by being insoluble in water and combines non-metallic with metallic properties, depending on the iron concentration present.
  • Graphite: It is a black carbon mineral, good electrical conduit and greasy to the touch. Graphite is the quintessential mineral for making pencils.

Mineral and energy resources

  • The oil: Oil is a mixture of hydrocarbons that the earth produces either in the form of gas, solid or liquid.
  • Charcoal: The carbon is originated by the decomposition of leaves, wood, terrestrial vegetables, spores and bark that have been accumulated in lagoon, swampy or shallow marine areas.

Importance of mineral resources

Today, it could be said that most of the products we use are made from mineral resources. Are used metals and minerals in metallurgy, ceramics and technology industries, among other similar ones. In addition, they are part of the majority of energy resources, thus allowing the production and consumption of energy. That is why the extraction of the different types of mining resources, continues to be a fundamental work activity today.

However, although it is of great importance for the economic sector, it is true that from an environmental point of view it can be a dangerous activity, since mining activities without good management and restoration tend to create strong ecological damage and a negative impact on the environment. air, soil, water and on the health of people and species that inhabit the area. Here we tell you more about how mineral extraction affects the environment.

If you want to read more articles similar to Mineral resources: what are they, classification, examples and importance, we recommend that you enter our category of Other environment.

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