Where Are Minerals Found?
Roughly 3,700 minerals are found in the Earth’s crust, according to KidsGeo.com. Igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks are found everywhere on the Earth’s surface and at the bottom of the ocean. Minerals utilized by humans are most often found in mines and mining operations on every inhabited continent.
The United States contains several mines that produce valuable minerals. Arizona and Michigan have copper mines that produce industrial grade and ornamental minerals. California extracts boron from hot springs that also make carbonate and sulfate minerals. Magnet Cove in Arkansas is known for titanium-based minerals such as rutile, anatase and brookite.
International mines also harvest minerals humans need. Sites in New South Wales, Australia produce copper, lead and silver. Cornwall, England has mines that have been worked for centuries extracting silver, tin, lead, copper, iron and tungsten. Ontario, Canada features areas with cobalt and silver. One mine in Saxony, Germany has been in use since ancient Roman times and produces more than 300 minerals.
According to Maps of the World, uranium is mined in Canada, Australia, Africa, central Asia and France. Gold is extracted in countries such as Russia, Canada, Brazil, South Korea and South Africa. The world’s diamond mines are located in Brazil, southern Africa, India and Siberia.
The most common minerals found in the Earth’s crust include silicate rocks such as quartz, mica and olivine. Major mineral classes are halides, oxides, sulfides, sulfates and carbonates.