• Our Earth is covered with natural resources and we use these sources in our everyday life in many ways.
What is a Mineral?
• A mineral is a naturally occurring inorganic solid; with definite chemical composition and specific atomic arrangement.
• Minerals may be simple substances or very complex ones.
• Some minerals are common while others are rare.
• Even rocks are formed from minerals.
• But all rocks are not the same.
• Some rocks are composed of only one mineral like- limestone is a sedimentary rock and is composed of the mineral CALCITE.
• Some minerals like calcite, gypsum, mica, feldspar are common minerals.
• These minerals are non-metallic.
• Some minerals like gold, aluminium, silver, copper, iron are metallic minerals.
Figure 24: Our body needs minerals for growth
• Even our body needs some minerals such as sodium, calcium, and iron for healthy growth and development of our body.
Uses of Rocks & Minerals:
• Almost everything we use in our daily life has some connection with rocks and minerals.
• Today, we build our houses out of drywall, made of gypsum; we make cement from lime, etc.
(1) Lead: is used in batteries.
(2) Copper: is used for making copper wire to conduct electricity needed in our car, home, office, school, etc.
(3) Aluminium: is used for making aluminium foils.
(4) Clay: is used to coat the pages of newspapers, magazines, etc.
(A) Rocks are used as Building Material:
• Most of the rocks used in construction comes from quarries.
• Quarries are places where sand, gravel and stone are excavated for building materials.
Figure 25: Quarries
• Although wood, straw and mud is used for houses in some parts of the word, most cities today are built of stones and metals (minerals).
• Many rock & minerals are used to make buildings.
• Concrete, steel, glass and wallboard are all common in modern buildings.
• Granite is used to decorate the outer sides of buildings as well as tiles for floors and counters.
Figure 26: (a) Kitchen counters made up of granite
(b) House exterior made up of black granite
• It is a hard stone that resists wear and weathering.
Figure 27: Interior walls and floors made up of marble
• Marble is used for interior walls and floors because it is soft.
(B) Rocks give us Useful Metals:
• Many machines and tools are made of metals.
Figure 28: Metals obtained from minerals used in various ways
• Many different kinds of metals are used in making cars, planes and boats.
• Metal is used in pop cans and cars and they should be recycled.
Figure 29: Pop cans made up of metal
• Metal is durable, and is therefore used for frame work of buildings, and some outdoor furniture.
(C) Some rocks give us fuel:
• Coal is one of the most important sources of fuel.
Figure 30: Coal- An important source of fuel
• Coal is primarily used in the generation of electricity.
• Petroleum is fossil fuel (obtained from buried remains of animals) is very valuable and is called black gold.
• It gives us many different kinds of fuels such as LPG, CNG, diesel, petrol, and kerosene.
• Petroleum is also used in polishes, printing inks, dry cleaning, etc.
• Uranium is a rare mineral that is used to produce tremendous amount of energy.
Figure 31: Nuclear plant
• The type of energy produced from uranium is called nuclear energy.
(D) Some Rocks are precious and used as gemstones:
• Ruby, sapphire, topaz, emerald are minerals.
• These are found in the form of crystals.
Figure 32: Various precious gemstones
• When polished, these are very beautiful and are used in jewellery.
Figure 33: Diamond
(E) Some Minerals are used as Fertilizers:
• Sulphur is used in the manufacturing of –
o Fertilizer (necessary to grow our food), chemicals,
o Sulphuric acid