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Week 1b Lecture Notes.docx

3 Pages

Earth Sciences
Course Code
Nigel Blamey

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Why Should We Be Interested in Geology? (Week 1, September 9 , 2013) The Nature of Scientifically Thinking: basic questions, facts(testing and improving), deductive reasoning(Sherlock), evidence, can’t change through time, verified; speculation, hypothesis and conclusion; mineral resources, the economy and the environment. Ex, deductive reasoning; mass extinction of dinosaurs; pollen to ferns; Iridium layer spikes at the end of the Cretaceous period; discovery of spherules; asteroid off the coast of Mexico. Exploration of mineral resources(wealth of society, overall economy, daily life). Ontario greatest mineral wealth, Canada is well off. Go back to old unusable resources. Non-metals x2 ½ more than metals. Weathering increases concentration, removal of other elements. The availability of mineral resources is a measure of the wealth of a society; they are important in people’s daily life as well as in the overall economy. Increased demand for limited non-renewable resources will inevitably lead to shortfalls, responses include doing without, conservation and recycling. Mineral Resources: minerals and rocks that have industrial uses(abrasives, metals, building materials, etc.) or other economic value(ex, gemstones). Most elements are widely dispersed in the earth’s crust. They must be concentrated by geological processes in order to be economic(concentration factor 5x for iron and 4000x for gold). Classification as metallic and non-metallic resources.Amineral resource is a usable economic commodity(profitable) extracted from naturally formed material(elements, compounds, minerals or rocks).A mineral reserve is the portion of a resource that is identified and currently available to be extracted legally. The defining factors determining a reserve include geologic, technological, economic and legal factors. Mining and mineral processing contributed $60 billion to the Canadian economy in 2004. Canadian production of economic minerals amounted to $24.2 billion , nearly 1/3 of that in Ontario($7.2M). Ontario has greatest mineral wealth, and Canada is well-off. Non-metallic mineral products (2 1/2x more than metals), like diamonds, potash, cement, stone, sand and gravel, contributed $10 billion to the Canadian economy in 2004. The most valuable metallic minerals mined were nickel, gold, copper and iron ore, contributing $12.5 billion to the Canadian economy in 2004. Non-metallic minerals don’t come to mind as immediately as metallic minerals (ores), but they are in great demand, particularly for manufacturing and construction. Garnet is a gemstone(birthstone for January) but its most important economic use is as an abrasive. Victor project(De Beers Canada); impact area 5,000 hectares; kimberlite mined 27.4 million tonnes; grade 0.23 carat per tonne; production rate 7,350 tonnes per day, 2.7 million tonnes per year, 600,000 carats per year; employees 400 during production; investment to date $305 million Canadian; capital cost $982 million Canadian; operating costs $41 per tonne, $101 million per year Canadian; value per tonne $177 per tonne. The Victor open-pit mine, Ontario’s first diamond mine, began development in January 2006 and came into production in spring 2008. The Victor kimberlite pipe has mineable reserves estimated at 27.4 million ranging 0.23 carat per tonne. The mine is expected to produce approximately 600,000 carats per year over a 12-year open-pit mine life. Asbestos: from Greek meaning “unquenchab
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