Humankind has had a long history of mining the earth for minerals, dating back thousands of years. Today, virtually everything we interact with in our daily lives has somehow been made with mined minerals. Everything from toothpaste to electric vehicles and our smartphones contains something from the earth that was mined. Without minerals, our lives would be very different, perhaps less complicated, but definitely less interesting.
Today, as we mine on the earth, innovation is pushing boundaries to make the process more efficient and less impactful on the environment. Soon, we will take our first steps toward mining in space.
Here are 10 incredible Mining Facts that we think you might find interesting:
- The average smartphone contains over 60 elements, in the screen, camera, electronics battery, sound and vibration.
- A newborn infant will need a lifetime supply of:
- 800 pounds of lead
- 750 pounds of zinc
- 1,500 pounds of copper
- 3,593 pounds of aluminum
- 32,700 pounds of iron
- 26,550 pounds of clays
- 28,213 pounds of salt
- 1,238,101 pounds of stone, sand, gravel and cement
- Gold and copper were the first minerals discovered around 5,000 BC.
- The world’s largest mining machine, a mover, stands 311 feet tall and 705 feet long. It weighs over 45,500 tons and cost $100 million to build.
- Every American uses an average of 40,000 pounds of new minerals each year.
- Copper does not corrode, rust or damage easily. Archeologists have uncovered 3,500 year old drain copper pipes that are still in good condition
- 63% of gold is used in jewelry, 21 % in coins, 15% per cent in industrial uses including electronics; and 1 % in dental
- Asteroid 2011 UW158 contains approximately 90 million tons of platinum in its core, worth an estimated US$5.4 trillion.
- Twenty-Four-Karat Gold is not pure gold since there is a small amount of copper in it. Absolutely pure gold is so soft that it can be molded with the hands.
- Australia’s Super Pit, located in Kalgoorlie, can be seen from space.
Visit www.3DS.com/natural-resources for stories about innovation in the mining industry and to watch a story with NASA about the near-future of Asteroid mining.
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