Discover Minerals! – Our world is made of them
Bentonite, borates, calcium carbonate, clay, cristobalite, diatomite, dolomite, feldspar, gypsum, kaolin, lime, mica, perlite, plastic clay, salt, silica, talc, vermiculite, wollastonite… are all minerals mined in Europe – they belong to a family called “industrial minerals”, a range of minerals and rocks which are extensively used as raw materials for rubber, plastics, glass, and steel in automobiles to the wires and optic fibre cables in information technology. They are essential to construction, ceramics, detergents, paints and coatings, paper, packaging and almost any manufacturing sector.
(Industrial) minerals are increasingly essential to high tech as well as environmentally friendly products and technologies, such as wind turbines and photovoltaic panels. Minerals play a significant role in the transition to a low carbon economy.
Did you know… that every European citizen consumes around 460 tons of minerals in his or her lifetime?
- A family house contains up to 400 tons of minerals – in cement, plaster and plasterboard, glass, paint, ceramics, tiles, steel, plastic, window frames etc…
- Glass is made up of 100% minerals
- 50% of paint is made of minerals
- Paper uses up to 50% minerals
- Ceramics are made of 100% minerals – just think of the sanitary ware and table ware you use daily! They are all made of minerals, just like the floor & wall tiles as well as the roof tiles.
- A car contains up to 250kg of minerals
- 20% of the salt produced in Europe is used to keep the roads clear of snow and ensure our safety through winter.
Working with minerals…
Up to 1 million people work in Europe’s minerals extraction and processing industries – and around 30 million jobs in the manufacturing industries depend on raw materials!
As well as engineers, geologists and chemists there are also opportunities to work in communications, sales and marketing, environmental management and public affairs, to name a few.