Based on recent figures from the British Geological Survey in 2016, we can see that the top minerals mined around the world are crucial to worldwide economies. The five most mined minerals are gypsum, phosphorus rock, bauxite, iron, and coal. Here are some of the highlights of the report on each mineral:
Gypsum is mined steadily across China with over 267.1 million tonnes mined in 2016 with China being responsible for 130 million of those tonnes. It is primarily used in the production of drywall and cement.
Phosphorus Rock is mined primarily in China too with a global total of 276 million tonnes mined in 2016. 144 million of these tones were mined out of China alone. It is used in food production as it contains phosphorus which helps plants to grow.
Bauxite is primarily sourced from India and Guinea, with a total of 299 million tonnes mined in 2016. It is used to produce aluminum which is widely used across the world for products ranging from vehicles, packaging materials, and electrical components.
Iron ore production is up worldwide and has increased to 3.3 billion tonnes in 2016. Crude iron production is in decline to 1.23 billion tonnes. Iron ore is used to produce steel which is needed for almost every industry.
Coal continues to be a major contributor to global energy consumption, with 7.4 billion tonnes produced in 2016. This number has fallen from figures in 2012 that ranked up to 8.2 billion and part of that has been to do with countries ramping down their use of coal to reduce emissions. Coal production has increased in Russia and Australia but has been cut out of the US and South Africa which are focusing on renewable energy sources.
These minerals are a key part of the global economy, and every effort should be taken to ensure their sustainable use in the future. As countries seek to become more energy efficient and prioritize sustainability, the production of these minerals is likely to change further in the years to come. By understanding the importance of these minerals and how they are mined, we can better equip ourselves to face the future.
This post was written by Justin Tidd, Director at https://beckersmcusa.com/. For nearly a half a century, Becker Mining has been at the forefront of mining electrical companies.