What are the top 10 minerals mined in the world?
They are quartz (used for glass, paints, refractory materials), bauxite (the second most used metal globally after steel), cobalt (used in aircraft gas turbine engines, magnets), tin tantalum and tungsten (used in the manufacturing of computers, both laptops and desktops, and mobile phones), fluorspar/fluorite (used in the pottery, ceramics, optical, electroplating and plastics industries), platinum group metals ( includes platinum, palladium, rhodium, iridium, osmium and ruthenium), silver (used for batteries, electrical and electronic devices and industrial applications) and gold which is used for jewelry, coins, measure of value, scientific and electronic instruments and for dentistry, medicine and health.
Gold is needed in the medical and dental field to keep us alive and healthy.
Look beyond jewelries, money and coin and you will see that we need gold to communicate. Gold is a highly efficient conductor that is able to carry tiny electrical charges. It is part of all electronic devices, including cell phones, televisions, GPS, desktop and laptop computers to transfer information quickly. In aerospace, gold is used to lubricate mechanical parts, conduct electricity and coat the insides of space vehicles to protect people inside from infrared radiation and heat.
But above else, the purpose of gold is to help sustain our health being. How? Gold is used as the best tooth filling. It is chemically inert and non-allergenic and is used as early as 700 B.C to replace broken or missing teeth. Ain’t life sweeter if you don’t suffer from toothache?
Gold is used as an aid in healthcare for the diagnosis of any ailments or radiation treatments. It also acts as a drug to treat a small number of medical conditions like rheumatoid arthritis where they inject solutions of sodium aurothiomalate or aurothioglucose. Gold is also used to trace malaria. Gold nanoparticles drive a colour change on the strip if malaria is present. The tests are simple, reliable and robust; they can be used anywhere in the world without the need for expensive equipment or complex supply chains.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), 319 million malaria RDTs were sold in 2013.
The properties of gold nanoparticles help in detecting diseases like HIV/AIDS (gold nanoparticle techniques are able to sense the presence of a target molecule at ultra-low concentration, improving early detection). Gold nanoparticles are being engineered to be attached to cancer –related proteins for easier detection. Gold is also used to make heart stents.
Scientists, health engineers are still discovering the many usage of gold as it possesses a good quality in treating and detecting diseases. That is why it is hard to live without gold. And we have to rely on mining to extract it for us. Just like in Masbate, where Filminera and Masbate Gold project use a strong year-round environmental management program to minimize the disturbances done to the environment. They plant trees, protect watersheds, plant mangroves and provide the community with various livelihood programs aside from education, infrastructure and healthcare.
Because health is gold and there’s gold in maintaining your health, it is imperative that we mine gold responsibly to sustain life on earth.