September 18, 2023
As an essential industry, miners deliver the raw materials necess...
The summer season is known for its beautiful weather and its long break from school, which leads many families to plan vacations and outdoor activities. Regardless of how you and your family choose to spend your summer months, so many activities are made possible with minerals.
Pick the destination, and minerals will help you get there. Is it a drive to a campground or the beach? The engine and other components under the car hood are made out of iron, lead, molybdenum, chromium, nickel, aluminum and zinc. If you’re going by electric vehicle, even more minerals are required. If you’re taking an airplane, virtually every commercial jetliner flying today utilizes alloys made with niobium and titanium. Go by sea, and the hull of the boat is likely made out of fiberglass, steel or aluminum.
For those looking to be safe in the sun, zinc oxide and titanium oxide are common ingredients in many sunscreens. Beyond protecting your skin from UV rays, you likely rely on sunglasses with lenses made from a mixture of silica sand, limestone and soda ash.
When it’s time to cool off, minerals are there as well. Various minerals are used in swimming pool maintenance, such as calcium carbonate, sodium bicarbonate and magnesium sulfate. These minerals help balance the pH levels and prevent the growth of algae, ensuring clean and safe pool water.
To quench your thirst and replace important electrolytes on a hot day, many sports drinks are made with sodium, calcium, potassium and magnesium. When you go inside, air conditioning units use copper coils and wiring, along with aluminum for its corrosion-resistant properties.
For some, no summer is complete without a backyard BBQ. Potash and phosphate are key components in fertilizers and feed additives that provide your main course and side dishes and also keep your lawn green and lush in the summer months. When it comes to firing up the BBQ, grills wouldn’t be possible without metals like cast aluminum, iron or stainless steel.
Nothing says summer quite like Independence Day fireworks. Mineral elements are what provide the color in fireworks–strontium for reds, copper for blues, or a mix of titanium, zirconium and magnesium for silvery whites.
However you spend your summer, you have miners to thank. Whether you enjoy a mountain cabin’s cool AC or soaking up the hot sun on a sailboat, summer is more enjoyable with the help of minerals.