By Reinhardt Lategan

This page covers the rocks and minerals found and mined in Australia.
I will cover:

  • Minerals mined in Australia,

  • What minerals mined in Australia are used for,

  • How these minerals are found,

  • How these minerals are formed,

  • 3 methods to mine Gold in Australia.
  • Minerals Mined In Australia

    Metals found in Australia include: Aluminium, Copper, Gold, Iron, Lead, Magnesium, Nickel, Silver, Tin, Titanium and Zinc.

    Mineral sands found in Australia include: Overview, Rutile, Ilmenite, Garnet, Monazite and Zircon

    Gems stones found in Australia include: Overview, Diamond, Opal, Emerald, Garnet, Topaz, Jade, Saphire/Ruby and Zircon.

    Australia is also the world's largest exporter of Coal, accounting for the 35% of Coal accross the globe.


    What Minerals Mined In Australia Are Used For

  • Aluminium is smelted from Alumina, which is extracted from Bauxite ore. Aluminium has a whole range on uses, and is the third most metal on Earth after Iron and Steel. It is used to create trains, buses, planes, boats, fridges, washing machines, cutlery, doors, window frames, heating and cooling systems, foil, telephone cables, superconductors, furniture, the list goes on and on.

  • Copper is a great conductor of both heat and electricity. Due to this, it has many applications, such as wiring, networking, Televisions, radios, generators, motors, radiators, air conditioners and home heating systems. In recent times, each phone has about ~15 grams of copper, and it is starting to replace Aluminium in computer chips.

  • Gold is a very heavy, yet maluable material that is used in a whole range of things such as coins, jewellery, decorations, electronics, shielding against heat and light, as well as tooth fillings and lasers.

  • Iron is one of the most commonly used metals, and is used to to create steel. Iron can be found in almost everything, transport, construction, machinery, wire, storage, oil and gas, kitchen appliances, health, toys, electronics, cooking, decoration.

  • Lead is no longer as common as it was in the past, but is still used in batteries, health, sound insulation, chemicals, housing, weights, soldering, and even rifle ammunition.

  • Magnesium only has two common uses, alloying alluminium, and casting. Rougly 50% of the metal is used in the prior, and 20% for the latter.

  • Nickels biggest use in in alloys, more than 80% of the metal is used for it, the rest is used in batteries and coins.

  • Silver is another versatile metal with many uses. Silver's man uses are in film, electronics, soldering, defrosting, jewellery and silverware. mirros, health, money, batteries and textiles.

  • Tin has a few great use cases, in soldering, tinplate such as cans, bronze and pottery.

  • Titanium can only be used to make 3 things, Titanium metal, Titanium dioxide and Titanium tetrachloride. However, these 3 things are used in vehicles, sporting equipment, watches, missiles and industrial equipment. It is also used in paper, ink rubber, textiles, sunscreens, leather, food colouring, ceramics and welding tools.

  • Finally, Zinc is mainly used for galvanizing, which is done to prevent steel from rusting. Zinc is also used in batteries, brass, health, television screens, watch dials, and fireworks.

  • How These Minerals Are Found

    These minerals are all found on the inside of clumps called ores. Ores can be found inside of rocks often deep underground in the Earth's crust. Ores are deposits of minerals which can be extracted to be used or sold for a profit. Minerals can be extracted from an ore via heap leaching, flotation or smelting.

    Iron Smelting

    How These Minerals Are Formed

    There are 3 types of rocks, categorised by the way in which they form:

  • Igneous rocks - Rocks formed when magma, or melted rock, cools down and solidifies.

  • Sedimentary rocks - Rocks formed from grains of rocks and minerals mould together under water.

  • Metamorphic rocks - Rocks that were once Sedimentary rocks but have since been changed by heat or pressure.
  • Minerals would then be extracted from these rocks and used in products or sold for a profit.


    3 Ways to Mine Gold

    The 2 main and most efficent methods of mining Gold are via open-cut and underground mines. Large industrial machines move the mined rocks and ore that contain gold. They are then crushed and blasted into smaller, easier to handle pieces. The gold is then extracted from these smaller pieces.

    Another method to obtain Gold is through panning. Panning is where you take a small plate or pan, and take it a stream, you then dig out a small piece of sand or mud onto your plate, and shake it until all of the sand is gone, and just gold is remaining.

    Top Five Largest Mining Companies Australia

  • BHP - Specializes in Iron, Steel, Copper, Aluminium, Oil and Gas.

  • Rio Tinto - Specializes in Minerals, Aluminium, Copper, Diamonds and Iron ore.

  • Glencore - Specializes in Copper, Zinc, Nickel, Aluminium, Oil and Coal.

  • China Shenhua Energy - Specializes in Coal.

  • Vale - Specializes in Steel and raw materials.
  • What Minerals Australia Exports The Most

    Some of Australia's largest mineral exports include: Iron (25% global output, $82 USD per Tonne), Aluminium (29% global output, $560 USD per Tonne), Copper (5th largest global output, $6000 USD Per Tonne as of 12/11/2019 ), Gold (9.2% global output, $70548000 USD per Tonne) and Coal (number 1 global output, 101 USD per Tonne as of October 2019). These minerals are exported to countires and businesses all across the globe, and greatly contribute to Australia's economy.

    The Mining Tax and Its Impact on The Australian Economy.

    "The Mining Tax" is a form of tax that affects all mining companies in Australia. It states that 30%, or roughly 1/3 of all p rofits are taxed and given to the goverment. It has a major impact on Australia's economy, as it opens up thousands of jobs, and makes up roughly 9% of Australia's total economy.


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