Earth’s Mineral Diversity

Mineral diversity is a subject that has been studied by researchers for years. The diversity of minerals in our world could lead us to new scientific discoveries as well as give us new insight into the nature of mining environments in space. The diversity of minerals could give us insight into how life forms in other parts of the universe and amazing new technologies that we could develop in the future.

As we are currently in a shortage of raw materials like precious metals, lithium  and even water, it is essential that we find ways to increase the efficiency of mining and recycling. This can only be done by continuing to study and understand the earth’s mineral diversity.

The Carnegie Institution for Science has developed a way to cluster related minerals together which could help us better understand how they were formed. This new approach could explain the origins and diversity of every known mineral on earth. Their findings according to co-authors  Robert Hazen and Shaunna Morrison, state that there are over 10,500 mineral “kinds”. This is an estimate over 75% greater than other studies completed into mineral diversity on earth.

A secondary key finding of the study was that 80% of the minerals on earth are mediated by water. This would suggest that the presence of water is one of the most important factors in mineral diversity.

By studying the earth’s minerals, we can not only find new ways to increase efficiency in mining but also develop a greater understanding of our place in the universe.

The study of minerals is an essential part of geological research and should be continued in order to further our knowledge of the earth and its place in the cosmos. The goal of all this effort was to figure out how minerals’ diversity and distribution have evolved through time and to propose a classification system that integrates mineral origins in the context of changing terrestrial planets. It will be interesting to see what further findings reveal for the mining industry and for our world.

This post was written by Justin Tidd, Director at Becker/SMC. For nearly a half a century, Becker Mining has been at the forefront of safety, producing the best ground monitor in the industry. Becker/SMC is the industry’s leader in increasingly more sophisticated electrical control systems. Most of the major innovations, design features and specialized electrical components have been developed by Becker/SMC.

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