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How is tin made?

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Quick Answer

Tin is not a man-made, manufactured product but a naturally occurring metallic element. Like other chemical elements, such as gold or hydrogen, it is produced through natural processes. Because it is one of the most abundant natural resources in the Earth's crust, it is not necessary for tin to be laboratory created or synthesized, and in many cases, it can also be recycled once it has been used. Tin is used as an ingredient in several man-made metal alloys, including bronze, which is a mix of copper, tin and pewter, which is a mix of tin and lead.

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Full Answer

Recycled tin is known as secondary tin, and though this is a resource that people make regular use of, tin is also mined in great quantities. The countries that produce the most mined tin include China, Indonesia, Peru, Bolivia, Malaysia and Brazil. The United States uses recycled scrap tin as one of its main sources of the metal. Though there are abundant naturally occurring tin resources available for human use, it is possible to create elemental tin a laboratory setting through complex scientific processes, including carbothermic reduction. Though tin can be mined, it must be processed before it is ready to use as a metal material for manufacturing.

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