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MINERALS PUMICE STONE Pumice is a light and porous type of pyroclastic igneous rock. It is formed from the lava that is full of gas. During the explosive volcanic eruptions, the liquid lava is ejected in the air. As the lava hurtles through the air, it cools and the gases escape from the rock, leaving it full of holes. Any type of igneous rock can form pumice rock, provide suitable eruptive conditions it get. It can be andesite, basalt, dacite or rhyolite. When larger amounts of gas are present in the rock, the resultant is a finger-grained variety of pumice, which is known as pumicite. Pumice is popular in making lightweight concrete and is used as abrasive, particularly in polishes and cosmetics exfoliants. When pumice is used as an additive for cement, its fine-grained version knowns as pozzolan is mixed with lime to form a light-weight, smooth, plaster-like concrete. This type of concrete has been in use since Roman times.
MINERALS DOLOMITE is used as an ornamental stone, a concrete aggregate, a source of magnesium oxide and in the Pidgeon process for the production of magnesium. It is an important petroleum reservoir rock, and serves as the host rock for large strata-bound Mississippi Valley-Type (MVT) ore deposits of base metals such as lead, zinc, and copper. Where calcite limestone is uncommon or too costly, dolomite is sometimes used in its place as a flux for the smelting of iron and steel. Large quantities of processed dolomite are used in the production of float glass.
MINERALS BARYTE, WITHERITE Barite is a mineral consisting of barium sulfate. It most often occurs in hydrothermal veins and as veins in limestones. It is a relatively inert mineral with a high density. It is the primary ore of barium. The most common use of barite is as a weighting agent in drilling muds. Most barite produced is used as a weighting agent in drilling muds. These high density muds are circulated down the drill stem and return to the surface between the drill stem and the wall of the well. This action effectively flushes the cuttings produced by the drill and carries them to the surface. Barite is also used as a pigment in paints and as a weighted filler for paper and cloth. Barite's high density makes it opaque to x-rays. If it is given to a patient as a drink or enema it can be used to image the shape of internal organs by x-ray. WITHERITE Witherite is a rare mineral, especially since it easily alters to the more common mineral Barite. It alters when sulfuric acid from sulfide minerals dissolves the Witherite, and the sulfur combines with the barium element to form Barite. Witherite is also formed from Calcite that loses the calcium element which instead gets replaced by barium, thus forming Witherite in the process. Thin, long crystals and aggregates of Witherite should be handled carefully, as they are fragile and easily damaged.
MINERALS QUARTZ Quartz is a chemical compound consisting of one part silicon and two parts oxygen. It is silicon dioxide (SiO2). It is the most abundant mineral found at Earth's surface and its unique properties make it one of the most useful natural substances. Quartz is one of the most useful natural materials. Its usefulness can be linked to its physical and chemical properties. It has a hardness of seven on the Mohs Scale which makes it very durable. It is chemically inert in contact with most substances. It has electrical properties and heat resistance that make it valuable in electronic products. Its luster, color and diaphaneity make it useful as a gemstone and also in the making of glass.