Roughly 3,700 minerals are found in the Earth's crust, according to KidsGeo.com. Igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks are found everywhere on the Earth's surface and at the bottom of the ocean. Minerals utilized by humans are most often found in mines and mining operations on every inhabited continent.
The United States contains several mines that produce valuable minerals. Arizona and Michigan have copper mines that produce industrial grade and ornamental minerals. California extracts boron from hot springs that also make carbonate and sulfate minerals. Magnet Cove in Arkansas is known for titanium-based minerals such as rutile, anatase and brookite.
International mines also harvest minerals humans need. Sites in New South Wales, Australia produce copper, lead and silver. Cornwall, England has mines that have been worked for centuries extracting silver, tin, lead, copper, iron and tungsten. Ontario, Canada features areas with cobalt and silver. One mine in Saxony, Germany has been in use since ancient Roman times and produces more than 300 minerals.
According to Maps of the World, uranium is mined in Canada, Australia, Africa, central Asia and France. Gold is extracted in countries such as Russia, Canada, Brazil, South Korea and South Africa. The world's diamond mines are located in Brazil, southern Africa, India and Siberia.
The most common minerals found in the Earth's crust include silicate rocks such as quartz, mica and olivine. Major mineral classes are halides, oxides, sulfides, sulfates and carbonates.Learn More
Minerals are formed under a variety of conditions, including when molten materials cool, when liquids evaporate or cool and under high temperatures and pressures. Minerals are found in the earth's crust and mantle, and many were created when feldspar and quartz reacted with other materials during the formation of the planet.Full Answer >
Some important characteristics of minerals are color, hardness, streak, cleavage, fracture and luster. These characteristics do not require any complicated equipment to determine and are useful in identifying specific minerals.Full Answer >
Minerals are most commonly classified by the Dana system. Minerals are identified according to hardness, specific gravity, color, luster, streak, cleavage and crystal form.Full Answer >
The mineral content of marble is primarily calcite, as well as smaller quantities of quartz, mica and pyrite. Trace minerals of clay or iron oxides in the marble may affect the color of the rock.Full Answer >