Q:

What are non-metallic minerals?

A:

Quick Answer

Non-metallic minerals are minerals that have no metallic luster and break easily. These are also called industrial materials and are typically some form of sediment. Non-metallic minerals are not malleable.

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Full Answer

Sand, limestone, marble, clay and salt are all examples of non-metallic minerals. They are not recyclable because they can not be reshaped significantly and repurposed, unlike metals that can be melted down and easily reshaped into a new product. An exemption is concrete because concrete is often used from a mixture of non-metallic minerals that have been crushed or ground into small, fine pieces.

These are called industrial minerals because they are used in the creation of many different products. For example, glass is made from sand, silica and limestone. Each type of mineral has a use for industrial means, such as abrasion, fire resistance and absorbency, that makes it necessary in industry.

However, according to the Arkansas Geological Survey, these minerals do not have a high profit margin, despite how essential they are to modern industry. The end consumer has little desire or need to pay high prices, but transporting and mining these materials both have relatively high costs. Because these materials are so necessary, though, companies continue gathering the materials for use in factories and product creation.

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