Mining produces raw materials for things you use every day.
- Molybdenum – Special alloy steels for gears, jet engines, wind turbines, pipelines, space vehicles, armor plating and electronics; high temp lubricant, catalyst
- Copper – Electrical wire, coins, medical equipment, medicine, plumbing, roofing, solar panels, alloys (brass, bronze, pewter)
- Silver – Mirrors, silverware, jewelry, electrical wires, coins, dental work, specialty fabrics, batteries, solar panels, x-rays, high-tech devices.
Molybdenum does not occur naturally as a free metal on Earth, but rather in various oxidation states in minerals. The free element, which is a silvery metal with a gray cast, has the sixth-highest melting point of any element. It readily forms hard, stable carbides in alloys, and for this reason most of world production of the element (about 80%) is in making many types of steel alloys, including high strength alloys and superalloys.
Molybdenum is a Group 6 chemical element with the symbol Mo and atomic number 42. The name is from Neo-Latin Molybdaenum, from Ancient Greek Μόλυβδος molybdos, meaning lead, since its ores were confused with lead ores. Molybdenum minerals have been known into prehistory, but the element was discovered in 1778 by Carl Wilhelm Scheele.
Copper and its alloys have been used for thousands of years. In the Roman era, copper was principally mined on Cyprus, hence the origin of the name of the metal as сyprium (metal of Cyprus). Its compounds are commonly encountered as copper(II) salts, which often impart blue or green colors to minerals such as azurite and turquoise and have been widely used historically as pigments.
Copper is a chemical element with the symbol Cu (from Latin: cuprum) and atomic number 29. It is a ductile metal with very high thermal and electrical conductivity. Pure copper is soft and malleable; a freshly exposed surface has a reddish-orange color. It is used as a conductor of heat and electricity, a building material, and a constituent of various metal alloys.
Silver is a precious metal, and is used as an investment, to make ornaments, jewelry, high-value tableware, utensils and currency coins. Today, silver metal is also used in electrical contacts and conductors, in mirrors and in catalysis of chemical reactions.
Silver is a metallic chemical element with the chemical symbol Ag and atomic number 47. A soft, white, lustrous transition metal, it possesses the highest electrical conductivity of any element and the highest thermal conductivity of any metal. The metal occurs naturally in its pure, free form (native silver), as an alloy with gold and other metals.