Friday, 25 September 2009

What is an industrial mineral?

We have received a number of abstracts for Processing of Industrial Minerals '10, which we have had to reject, as the authors do not seem to know what defines an industrial mineral.

A good definition can be found in A Dictionary of Earth Sciences (1999):

An industrial mineral is any earth material of economic importance, excluding metal ores and fuels; e.g. barite, fluorite and china clay (kaolin).

In general industrial minerals are extracted from non-metallic ores, although some ores can produce an industrial mineral or a metal product. For instance chromite ores are the source of metallic chromium, or can be concentrated to produce chromite, an industrial mineral used for refractory bricks.

The conference in Istanbul is therefore concerned with the processing of any industrial mineral. The scope of this conference also includes coal preparation, although coal is not classified as a mineral.


  1. I can relate with some of the industrial minerals but most of them i do not know much about their processing and application. Where can I get a current market value of industrial minerals?For diamond data is available since it seems be the most sort after.

  2. From Fathi Habashi, Laval University, Canada:

    The term "Industrials Minerals" was suggested in 1931 by a Canadian committee composed of E.J. Carlyle, the newly appointed Secretary of the Canadian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy in Montreal and two institute members from the Division of Non-Metallic Deposits at the Mines Branch in Ottawa: L.C. Cole, an engineer, and Howells Fr├ęchette, chief of the Division. The term was adopted by the CIM Council on October 15, 1932. The committee was formed as a result of an incident that took place at the CIM Annual Meeting in Winnipeg in 1929. Cole was scheduled to present a paper entitled, “The Role of Non-metallics in the Mineral Industry” at the end of the session. When the speaker preceding him finished his talk on metallic minerals, the room became empty except the chairman, the future speaker, and two other delegates. Under these conditions the chairman suggested that Cole’s paper be considered as presented, and closed the session.

    This was not the first time that delegates did not show up in “non-metallics” a term that may have been sounded odd and as a result it was argued that it must be changed. Afterwards, the CIM Council accepted the creation of “Industrial Minerals Section” which became the first specialized section of the Institute. The section was then able to organize sessions devoted solely to industrial minerals. In 1941 it became a Division. In March 1935 the term “Industrials Minerals” was also adopted by the American Institute of Mining and Metallurgy.

    Reference: A.Ignatieff, A Canadian Research Center, Ministry of Supply and Services, Canada, Ottawa 1982


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