Mineral are naturally occurring elements or compounds that have been formed through slow inorganic processes. These are more than 3000 minerals species, most of them having chemical composition, crystal, hardness, colour and opacity. Most of them are sated except metallic mercury and water.
The minerals from which metals and non metals is extracted are known as ores. Rock is formed naturally by mineral deposition. According to their origin, rocks are divided into three types:
(i) Igneous rock
(ii) Sedimentary rock
(iii) Metamorphic rock.
Classification of minerals:
On the basis of predominant anions or anionic group. Among these silicates are most abundant.
(i) Silicates minerals (ii) Native elements (iii) Sulphide minerals (iv) Oxide minerals (v) Halide minerals (vi) Hydroxide minerals (vii) Carbonate and nitrate minerals (viii) Sulphate minerals (ix) Borate minerals (x) Tung state, chromate and molybdate minerals (xi) Phosphate, Arsenate and Vanedate minerals.
All the minerals are non renewable and valuable because they are stronger than any other materials, and they can be melted and cast into shape with a good conductor of electricity.
The ores yield metal like iron, copper, aluminum, gold, silver, platinum, while non- metallic materials like cement, sulphur, phosphorus, diamonds and chemical by products of petroleum refining are vital to industry. Asia is rich in manganese and tungsten, tin. The salt, magnesium and bromine are also discovered from marine.
The deep sea basins are found to contain enormous quantities of minerals such a manganese, cobalt-nickels and copper. Marine mineral resources in India are of three types (i) terrigenous minerals: In Maharashtra, Kerala and Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Orissa with Ilmnite, monazite, and ilmnite. 2. Biogenous deposits: In Kerala, Gulf Kutch, A & Nicobar with calcium, carbonate. 3. Chemogenous deposits: Manganese nickel, cobalt and copper.
Exploitation and conservation
Mining involves the physical removal of minerals from the crust of Earth. The mineral materials may be used as such or used for extraction of elements. As minerals are exhaustible resources, it becomes essential to conserve these resources.
Most of the countries are exploiting resources at an accelerating rate to get valuable foreign exchange. By improving in mining technology and recycling of minerals like copper aluminum, tin, iron will reduce waste.
There are three major stages in mineral extraction exploration, mining and mine reclamation. Today, mining operations must conform to a variety of environmental regulations.
The aim of these laws is to restore the land to its original condition after the mining is completed. For management and conservation of minerals ecologist, biologist geologist and soil scientist study the ecosystem in undisturbed state and then work together for reclamation.
The process of concentration, beneficiation and refining may all create biological changes if various products are released into nearby ecosystems i.e. they may create environmental pollution which effect adversely the ecosystems.