Every day we use lots of metals and minerals, usually completely without thinking about it. During our lifetime we will use more than 800 metric tonnes of geological material.
Sweden is a mining and mineral country with a large supply of ore and mineral, which has to a large extent contributed to the wealth we have today. The technical products of modern society are entirely dependent on the availability of metals and minerals.
Without thinking about it, we encounter geology every day. You will use large amounts of metals and minerals during your lifetime. Iron, from which steel is made, is the most widely used metal. You will find steel in cars and refrigerators, for example. A common mineral is quartz, which is used in, among other things, window glass and semiconductors.
During our lifetime, each of us needs:
- Copper: 0.6 ton
- Gold: 11 grams
- Zinc: 0.35 tonnes
- Cement: 33 tonnes
- Iron: 15 tonnes
- Lead: 0.4 tonnes
- Clay: 9.7 tonnes
- Ballast: 775 tonnes
- Other minerals and metals: 30 tonnes
Source: SGU (Swedish)
Innovation-critical metals and minerals
The so-called innovation-critical metals and minerals are materials today much needed for the development of renewable power sources (wind and solar power), energy storage (batteries), and hi-tech products (computers and cell phones). These metals and minerals include e.g. indium, cobalt, the rare earth elements and graphite. An absolute majority of these materials are produced outside the EU, and the EC has issued warnings that a lack of these materials may hamper the development in green technology and stall the switchover to fossil-free energy sources.
Read more about innovation-critical metals and minerals at SGU:s website. (English)