10 Interesting Mining Facts You Probably Didn’t Know

10 Interesting Mining Facts You Probably Didn't Know

It’s no secret that mining is important to our economy, but I don’t think most people realize how vital and integrated the mining industry is in our everyday lives! For instance, did you know…

1. Every American uses an average of 40,000 pounds of new minerals each year.

2. A newborn baby will need during its lifetime:

  • 800 pounds of lead
  • 750 pounds of zinc
  • 1500 pounds of aluminum
  • 32,700 pounds of iron
  • 26,550 pounds of clay
  • 28,213 pounds of salt
  • 1,238,101 pounds of stone, sand, gravel, and cement

3. Because of wood shortages in the 1600’s, Brewers in England started drying their Malts with heat generated by coal.  Unfortunately, coal flavored beer was not a hit.  After more experimentation, the brewers found that the undesirable gases could be eliminated by heating the coal in an airtight oven. Thus, the discovery of the coke making process, so vital to iron and steel! The next time you have a cold one, give a toast to the Brewers of the 1600’s!

4. Copper and Gold were the first two metals discovered by man, with Copper dating back to 8,700 BC, per Wikipedia.  Slag found on islands in the Aegean Sea suggests that man was separating silver from lead as early as 3000 B.C.!

5. In ancient times, an ounce of salt was traded for an ounce of gold! Fast forward to present day: Can you imagine $1,200/oz. for salt?

6. Out of all the elements, Silver is the best conductor and thus the reason it is used so heavily in technology.

7. Silver is also a superior anti-bacterial. Small concentrations kill bacteria by chemically breaking down their cell membranes. Bacteria does not develop a resistance to silver!

8. Zinc is the fourth most widely consumed metal after iron, aluminum, and copper and is also vital to the human body for proper function and health. Zinc is needed for the body’s enzymes and immune system.   (Zinc tablets to ward off colds!)

9. Indium is a byproduct of zinc production and is also used in high technology applications from LCD screens to solar panels.

10. Wyoming is the nation’s top coal-producing state.  Who knew?

Being on the Mining Team at Johnson Search Group, I have had the pleasure of speaking with the men and women in the industry and wish to extend a big “Thank you”, for all the hard work you do in keeping us in the lifestyles we are accustomed to!

Sources

www.dnr.state.mn.us/education/teachers/activities/soudan_mine/miningfacts.html
geology.com/usgs/uses-of-zinc/
www.mnn.com/earth-matters/wilderness-resources/blogs/10-elements-crucial-to-modern-life-that-youve-probably
igentry.blogspot.com/2008/07/interesting-facts-about-silver.html