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Mineral Resources

The ores obtained from the earth's crust are named as minerals. The science that works these minerals is known as Metallurgy.
Separation of minerals is done by various procedures. It is not really obtained directly as a pure organic material. It is a mixture of various dust particles. Refining yields the product firing from particles and the material obtained is named as minerals.

Minerals may be present in ground water. So far Uranium, Thorium, Deuterium are identified. Minerals are the adequate products. Their presence is limited. Conservation of mineral resources is very important for future use. If their use is at the same late we have to run short of this resources in no time resulting in energy crisis. Their use must be balanced in ecosystem to avoid energy crisis.


Objectives of Conservation of Mineral Resources

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The overall objectives in conservation of mineral resources are

  • To encourage and support use of the lower quality minerals, where appropriate, in preference of higher quality primary aggregate.
  • To restrict non-mineral development which would hinder in the working of existing mineral commitments or identified in the areas for future mineral extraction.
  • To support the prior extraction of minerals which would otherwise to be sterilized by non-mineral development.
  • To support the re-use and recycling of the minerals and their products.

List of Mineral Resources

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Nitrogen: it is the constituent of amino acids, proteins, hormones, enzymes, coenzymes, chlorophyll, vitamins, cytochromes, ATP.

Phosphorus: it is the constituents of nucleotides, nucleic acid, certain proteins, phospholipids, NAD+, NADP+

Potassium: it helps in the synthesis of proteins, cell membrane, and osmotic potential. It also stimulates opening and closing of stomata. It helps in maintaining turgidity of cell. It also acts as an activator of some enzymes.

Calcium: it is present as calcium pectate in middle lamella, development of roots and stem apices. It helps in cell membrane permeability. Like phosphorus, it also acts as n activation of enzymes. It takes part in the organization of mitotic spindle.

Magnesium: it is a major constituent of chlorophyll. It is an activator of phosphate metabolism in respiration and photosynthesis. It helps in DNA and RNA synthesis, fat synthesis, carbohydrate metabolism and maintenance of ribosomes.

Sulfur: it is a constituent of certain amino acids, proteins, vitamins, coenzyme A and ferredoxin.

Iron: it is a constituent of ferredoxin and cytochromes and nitrogenase. It is an activator of catalase and is required for chlorophyll and protein synthesis. It also helps in the development of chloroplasts.

Manganese: it plays a major role in hydrolysis of water and activates carboxylases and oxi-reductases. It is connected with respiration, photosynthesis and nitrogen metabolism.

Molybdenum: it acts as an activator of certain enzymes involved in nitrogen metabolism including nitrate reduction and nitrogen fixation. It also promotes oxidation-reduction reactions.

Boron: it helps in calcium metabolism, pollen germination, cell differentiation, carbohydrate transport, root nodulation, cell elongation and differentiation.

Copper: it acts as an activator of certain enzymes. Copper takes part In electron transport as plastocyanin and cytochromes oxidase.

Zinc: it helps in auxin synthesis and activates certain carboxylases and dehydrogenases.

Chlorine: it helps in hydrolysis of water. It maintains solute concentration and ionic balance along with Na and K. It is the activator of amylase.

Conservation of High Quality Mineral Resources

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Following are some of the strategies that can be followed for the conservation of high quality mineral resources.

  • Use of alternate sources of energy like solar energy, hydroelectric energy etc.
  • Walking on a path that leads to sustainable development.
  • Using the mineral resources with a greater efficiency.
  • Use of renewable sources of energy.
  • Avoid over-exploitation of the mineral resources.
  • Use of bio-gas as a fuel for cooking instead of the non-renewable sources of energy.
  • Re-use and recycle the minerals and their products.

Securing the effective and the efficient use of minerals in accordance with sustainability principles can only be achieved if all those involved in producing and using minerals and their products will make a commitment to ensuring that development becomes more sustainable.

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