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Mineral resources - SS2 Geography Lesson Note

Mineral resources refer to any naturally occurring substance in the Earth's crust that can be mined, extracted, and processed for its utility and economic value. These resources can be solid minerals, liquids, or gases.


Types of Mineral Resources:

Mineral resources are typically categorized into two main types:

  1. Metallic Minerals: These include minerals that contain valuable metals like iron, copper, gold, and silver. They are used in industries such as construction, electronics, and jewelry.
  2. Non-Metallic Minerals: This category includes minerals that lack metal content but are still valuable, such as limestone, gypsum, and salt. They find applications in the construction, agriculture, and chemical industries.


Uses of Mineral Resources:

Mineral resources are indispensable to modern society and have a wide range of applications, including:

  1. Construction materials like sand, gravel, and limestone for building infrastructure.
  2. Energy production through coal, oil, and natural gas.
  3. Industrial processes that rely on minerals like aluminum, used in manufacturing, and silicon for electronics.
  4. Agriculture, where minerals like phosphate and potash are essential for fertilizers.
  5. Healthcare, as minerals like calcium and magnesium are vital for human health.


Problems of Mineral Exploitation:

While mineral resources are essential, their exploitation can lead to several challenges and problems:

  1. Environmental Impact: Mining and extraction processes can lead to habitat destruction, soil erosion, and pollution of air and water. This can harm ecosystems and affect biodiversity.
  2. Resource Depletion: Over-exploitation of mineral resources can lead to their depletion, making them scarce and driving up prices. This can have significant economic impacts.
  3. Social Issues: Mining operations can displace communities, cause social unrest, and result in human rights violations in some cases.
  4. Conflict Minerals: Some minerals, like tantalum, tin, and tungsten, are sourced from conflict zones, leading to unethical practices and violence associated with their extraction.
Recommended: Questions and Answers on Environmental Resources II for SS2 Geography
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