Can you name two materials that can be mined?
Mining is the process of taking things from the ground. Any material that cannot be grown must be mined. Mining things from the ground is called extraction. Mining can include extraction of metals and minerals, like coal, diamond, gold, silver, platinum, copper, and iron. Mining can also include other things like oil and natural gas.
How is coal formed?
Coal is a nonrenewable energy source because it takes millions of years to create. The energy in coal comes from the energy stored by plants that lived hundreds of millions of years ago, when the earth was partly covered with swampy forests. For millions of years, a layer of dead plants at the bottom of the swamps was covered by layers of water and dirt, trapping the energy of the dead plants. The heat and pressure from the top layers helped the plant remains turn into what we today call coal.
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In ancient times, can you guess what people traded for an ounce of gold (hint: it is often kept on a dining table)?
Copper and Gold were the first two metals discovered by man, with Copper dating back to 8,700 BC, per Wikipedia. Slag found on islands in the Aegean Sea suggests that man was separating silver from lead as early as 3000 B.C. In ancient times, an ounce of salt was traded for an ounce of gold! Fast forward to present day: Can you imagine $1,200/oz. for salt?
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