Mining and using mined resources has been a staple of human evolution since we began to use tools in the dawn of our race. It’s been a ceaseless pendulum of getting better resources, using those resources to make better tools, and so on and so forth. Nowadays, we’ve arrived at the point where we’ve mastered this art, and integrated high-quality materials into every facet of our lives. It’s come to a point where we can start to take these advancements for granted, even! As a testament to our progress in this world, we can see how we take the simplest materials from the earth and use them in our daily lives.
The most obvious and most important use would have to go to the electronics we use every single day. Everything including (but not limited to) screens, phones, computers, tablets, consoles, and controllers all have minerals inside them in some way, shape, or form. Copper wiring inside and outside brings power to all the components, silica makes up the backbone of the ‘brains’ of the computers, and gold is embedded in every single chip to keep data flowing like clockwork.
There are a lot more niche uses for minerals too – like how lithium, zinc, and nickel are used in batteries and how quartz keeps clocks of all sorts ticking in perfect synchronization. Without all of these parts refined and put together ever so perfectly, nothing would work.
Construction / Manufacturing
Building and creating take a lot of resources, and more often than not we use mined materials to keep it all moving. It starts with the iron, steel, and aluminum tools we use to work the pieces as they’re needed to fit together. Those tools go on to connect copper wires that power everything, mold and put up common building blocks like drywall (from mined gypsum) or glass (from smelted silica). Cement, used as a binding agent of concrete and mortar together in numerous other parts, is a complicated blend of limestone, chalk, shale, clay, sand, iron ore, sand, and much more. Skyscrapers as we know them wouldn’t be even remotely possible without our ability to harvest and use the earth below us.
Minerals are so ingrained into our everyday lives that they’re even ingrained into our own bodies. Every living thing on this Earth uses minerals in some capacity in their natural processes. It’s said that the human body contains 1.5% calcium, 1% phosphorus, .4% potassium, .3% sulfur, and .2% each of sodium, chlorine, and magnesium. Even in such small percentages of our total body mass, they drive every process that lets us think, breathe, walk, and talk throughout our day.
For example, Cobalt is an element that builds into Vitamin B12. Even though the average amount in our body is 6 micrograms, it’s a crucial part of our body’s nervous system, keeps our blood cells healthy, and helps us make DNA that defines our body’s genetic blueprints. The minerals around us are both such a small part of our makeup but a large part of what makes us human.
Importance of Mining
Though we may be able to harvest these minerals in small amounts naturally, we wouldn’t be able to grow the Earth and its people into what it is today without mining it out. To compound that, mining processes that we use largely would be deadly (if not completely impossible) without the rigging crews behind them. When we can keep our workers and equipment safe while harvesting these resources, we can keep output at maximum efficiency and keep the machine moving. Silver State Wire Rope and Rigging have been supporting mining operations on the West Coast for years, and provide the mining rigging supplies needed to keep an operation safe and stable.