Economic Sands

Ilmenite product, Chemours Mining, Starke, Florida

LP Kenney

   Everything we depend on is either made from minerals or relies on minerals for its production.  Minerals make transportation and communication possible. We rely on minerals for art, jewelry and paint manufacture. We rely on minerals for building skyscrapers, parking garages, medical devices, tools and much more. Geologists are known to say, “if it can’t be grown, it must be mined.” 

 

   Below are featured some minerals found as sand.   

Silica Frac Sand
Silica Frac Sand

This pure quartz sand is mined from the Mt. Simon sandstone for frac sand near Grantsburg, Wisconsin. The grains’ uniform roundness and size makes this sand useful in the fracking industry.

Crushed Bottle Glass
Crushed Bottle Glass

Crushed bottle glass by Dreyden Aqua for filter material for swimming pools, drinking water, and aquaria.

Gold Dredge Sands
Gold Dredge Sands

Using floating dredges on the Rogue River, Oregon, gold miners vacuum up heavy mineral deposits from which they recover gold flakes.

Ilmenite (Titanium dioxide)
Ilmenite (Titanium dioxide)

Chemours Mining in Starke, Florida mines heavy-mineral sands for ilmenite. It’s used for white pigment in paint, paper and edibles (candy and toothpaste) and more.

Zircon (Zirconium silicate)
Zircon (Zirconium silicate)

Chemours Mining in Starke, Florida mines heavy-mineral sands for zircon. It’s used in the production of ceramics (your white toilet) and in sand casting (airplane turbines).

Staurolite
Staurolite

Chemours Mining in Starke, Florida mines heavy-mineral sands for staurolite. It’s used as a sand-blasting abrasive.

Malachite and Azurite Nodules
Malachite and Azurite Nodules

Small nodules of azurite (blue) and malachite (green) weather out of the poorly-cemented sandstone at La Sal Mine, Whistle, Utah. Today these copper ores are mostly mined as mineral specimens.

Iron Minerals
Iron Minerals

Wave polished iron minerals make up the beach sand at Topinetti Beach, Rio Marina, on the island of Elba, Italy.

Synthetic Diamond Powder
Synthetic Diamond Powder

Since the 1950s, a high pressure, high temperature (HPHT) method has been used to grow diamonds from graphite dissolved in metals such as nickel, iron, cobalt, platinum, manganese, and palladium. These diamonds are used as abrasives.