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Chapter 15: Minerals and Environment Holden mine (near Lake Chelan in Washington), an old copper and gold mine Big Question: Is It Possible To Use Nonrenewable Resources Sustainably? Case Study

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chapter 15 minerals and environment

Chapter 15: Minerals and Environment

Holden mine (near Lake Chelan in Washington), an old copper and gold mine

Big Question: Is It Possible To Use Nonrenewable Resources Sustainably?

case study
Case Study

Newport Golf Club near Seattle, similar to the Fossil Trace Golf Club described on page 319 in your textbook.

NewCastle Golf Club, built on former coal mine and landfill area. See http://www.golf.com/golf/courses_travel/coursefinder/course/0,28290,1517440,00.html

the importance of minerals to society
The Importance of Minerals to Society

Some uses for minerals in a typical American home.

formation of mineral deposits
Formation of Mineral Deposits

High concentrations of Earth materials form ore deposits. The origin and distribution of mineral resources are related to the history of the biosphere and the geologic cycle.

distribution of mineral resources
Distribution of Mineral Resources
  • Earth’s crust is silica-rich.
  • The oceans have low concentrations of many minerals.
  • Mined minerals occur in unusually high concentrations.
plate boundaries
Plate Boundaries

Some mineral deposits are formed by plate tectonics.

  • At divergent plate boundaries, heated water rises through fractured rocks and leaches metals from them, forming metal sulfides.
  • At convergent plate boundaries, a combination of heat, pressure, and partial melting mobilizes metals in molten rocks.
igneous processes
Igneous Processes

Crater of Diamonds State Park near Murfreesboro, Arkansas, the only active US diamond mine and open to the public

sedimentary processes
Sedimentary Processes

The Buckhorn Gold Mine in northern Okanogan County is one of the few currently active in Washington state.

biological processes
Biological Processes

Some mineral deposits are formed or altered by biological processes.

  • The major iron ore deposits are in sedimentary rocks
  • Organisms form many kinds of mineral deposits, such as the calcium in shells and bones.
weathering processes
Weathering Processes

Weathered insoluble ore deposits may accumulate in the soil unless removed by erosion.

Weathering can improve low-grade ore by secondary enrichment.

use and availability of mineral resources
Use and Availability of Mineral Resources

Minerals are also classified by use and abundance. The most-used minerals are not metals.

mineral consumption
Mineral Consumption

A mineral resource can be used in three ways:

  • Rapid consumption
  • Consumption with conservation
  • Consumption and conservation with recycling
u s supply of minerals
U.S. Supply of Minerals

U.S. use exceeds its own supplies of many minerals. Importing may be more practical than mining.

impacts of mineral development
Impacts of Mineral Development

Bingham Canyon Cooper Pit, Utah

social impacts
Social Impacts
  • Large-scale mining brings a rapid influx of
  • workers.
  • Adverse social impacts occur when mines
  • close down.
  • Greater environmental regulation of the industry equal greater costs.
  • Wars are often funded by minerals.
minimizing waste
Minimizing Waste

Generation of waste is a major issue.

Minimizing environmental effects of mineral development:

  • Regulate the environment at the federal, state, and local levels.
  • On-site and off-site treatment of waste.
  • Reduce, reuse, recycle.
recycling
Recycling

UW recycling video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kWMPNiEzAkw

minerals and sustainability
Minerals and Sustainability
  • Simultaneously exploiting and sustaining mineral resources is problematic.
  • Human ingenuity is important.
  • How long does it take to develop new approaches?
chapter 15 minerals and environment21

Chapter 15: Minerals and Environment

Holden mine (near Lake Chelan in Washington), an old copper and gold mine

Questions? E-mail your TA.