The majority of tin is mined using bucket-line dredging. In this mining method, an endless chain of buckets transports the soil that contains the tin from the excavation site to the area where it is washed and roughly concentrated.
Following the first washing, the concentrate is run through a jig or a shaking table where it is washed to separate the heavy minerals from the lighter minerals. This achieves a 70 percent concentration of tin in the final concentrate. This final concentrate is then reduced to a higher concentration of tin when it is heated in a furnace to a temperature of 1,300 C in a process called smelting. The tin is then transported to a refinery where it is heated above its melting point to remove any impurities from the final product.Learn More
Gneiss is formed from the high-temperature metamorphism of existing igneous rocks, generally granite or diorite. The rocks that form gneiss are exposed to extreme pressures and temperatures of between 600 and 700 degrees Celsius. These temperatures cause the individual minerals to migrate, forming distinct bands through the rock.Full Answer >
The two main methods of mineral formation are cooling and evaporation. The cooling process occurs when magmas and lavas cool and crystallize into minerals. Minerals formed through evaporation are the result of electrically charged atoms, known as ions, linking together to form crystals.Full Answer >
Tin was discovered prior to the beginning of recorded history, so its exact date of discovery is unknown. Its first known use was at the start of the Bronze Age in approximately 3000 B.C. During this time period, it was used exclusively as a component of bronze and pewter alloys.Full Answer >
Exfoliation geology is a type of rock weathering where the rock's layers peel off in whole sheets instead of grain by grain. Large-scale exfoliation occurs due to the mechanics of gravity on a curved surface, while small-scale exfoliation is due to chemical weathering.Full Answer >