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Grade 5


Module 18

Natural resources: minerals

Minerals as a natural resource

South Africa has large deposits of minerals like gold, iron, coal, platinum and diamonds. The map on the next page shows that these South African minerals are concentrated in the north-eastern part of the country. Coal and gold make up a large proportion of our country's mineral wealth.

Minerals in South Africa

Some of these minerals are mined at the surface (diamonds), while others are mined deep below the surface under extremely dangerous conditions.

Iron, which is a basic component in the production of steel, is less abundant. Melting iron ore and other minerals together in large furnaces manufacture steel. Flat steel plates are manufactured during this process. Later on, these steel plates are used to manufacture other products. Steel is a very important component of the modern manufacturing process. Just consider the car that was referred to earlier in the module. Without steel, there would be no motor vehicle production line.

There are two methods of mining:

  • open mining;
  • tunnel mining.

Minerals like iron, copper, asbestos and diamonds are sometimes mined from open cast mines. These simply are large open holes in the earth that are dug in such a way that a spiralling road leading to the deepest part of the mine is formed. This means that vehicles that transport ore and materials to the places where they are processed can be driven to every part of the mine.

When minerals are found deep under the ground, a shaft has to be built. Mine headgear is erected and a deep hole is drilled into the earth. Shaft diggers (sinkers) dig side passages and tunnels from this hole (shaft). This enables the miners to reach the reefs or veins containing the minerals. These passages and tunnels are situated on different levels.

The minerals are blasted loose with dynamite and are then dug out. The “gravel” is loaded into iron buckets (cocopans), which run along a rail like a train and are hoisted to the surface of the earth in lifts for the minerals to be processed. Excess rock is dumped on mine dumps and the watery remains are taken to sludge dams .


To supply a diagram with captions

[lo 1.1]

  • Consult the preceding paragraphs and supply this illustration of a cross-section of a shaft mine with the necessary captions.


LO 1


The learner will be able to use enquiry skills to investigate geographical and environmental concepts and processes.

We know this when the learner:

1.1 with guidance, selects and uses sources of useful geographical information [finds sources];

1.2 distinguishes between facts and opinions [works with sources];

1.3 categorises information [works with sources];

1.4 uses an index to find places on global atlas maps [works with sources];

1.6 identifies and explores possible solutions to problems [answers the question];

1.7 demonstrates knowledge and under-standing of the issue through projects, discussion, debate and charts [communicates the answer].

Questions & Answers

Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, Social sciences: geography grade 5. OpenStax CNX. Sep 23, 2009 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10986/1.2
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