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How Will We Manage Our Nonrenewable Mineral Resources in the Future?

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Presentation on theme: "How Will We Manage Our Nonrenewable Mineral Resources in the Future?"— Presentation transcript:

1 How Will We Manage Our Nonrenewable Mineral Resources in the Future?

2 How Do We Find Mineral Resources? Aerial Photos Measuring radiation Magnetometer (Iron) Core Samples Seismic Surveys (set off a bomb and see how seismic waves move in the ground) Chemical analysis of water and plants

3 How Are Buried Mineral Deposits Removed? Surface Mining (shallow deposits) Open-Pit Mining: Machines dig holes and remove ores Dredging: Chain buckets and draglines scrape up underwater mineral deposits Area Strip Mining: A giant earth mover strips land creating a trench which is then filled in with the overburden creating a wavy series of highly erodible hills of rubble called spoil banks. Contour Strip Mining: Used on hilly or mountainous terrains. Power shovel cuts a series of terrains, overburden from the terrace above is dumped below

4 Area Strip Mining Open Pit Mining DredgingContour Strip Mining

5 Mountaintop Removal: Uses explosives, massive shovels and huge machinery called draglines Subsurface Mining: (Deep minerals) Miners dig a deep vertical shaft, blast tunnels and chambers and remove minerals using machinery Disturbs less than 1/10 as much land Leaves much of the resources in the ground Hazards include cave-ins, explosions, lung disease

6 Mountaintop Removal Subsurface Mining

7 Some Definitions Spoil: Rock and soil removed during surface mining Gangue: Waste or undesired material in an ore Tailings: Waste material removed as impurities when waste mineral material is separated from the metal in an ore Smelting: Melting of ore to refine it

8 Development of Coal (Anthracite)

9 How Do We Conserve Our Mineral Resources? Recycle Minimize Waste Find Substitute Materials (Nanotechnology) Do Without

10 Can We Use Nanotechnology to Create New Materials? Uses atoms & molecules to create substances (stain resistant and wrinkle free materials for pants, sunscreens that block UV light) Designer molecules that seek out and kill cancer cells Nanoparticles that provide super thermal insulation Bathrooms that never need cleaning, and so on

11 Whats the Catch? Smaller molecules become more reactive and potentially more toxic Nanosize particles can get through the natural defenses of our body Little is known about how nanoparticles behave in our body

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