C1.3 Metals and Their Uses

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Economic Impacts of Exploiting Metal Ores

  • Valuable revenue if mineral or its products are exported
  • Wages earned go into the local economy
  • Raw materials for industry
  • Extracting low-grade ores is effectively a waste of money
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Social Impacts of Exploiting Metal Ores

  • Employment for local community 
  • Ruins the landscape
  • Increase in local facilities promoted e.g. transport systems, and social facilities 
  • Noise from process of operation difficult to deal with (noise pollution)
  • Useful products made from metal
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Environmental Impacts of Exploiting Metal Ores

  • Loss of wildlife habitat
  • Mining-quarrying sites can be re-claimed and landscaped 
  • Disused quarries and mines increase hazards e.g. quarries filled with water
  • Greenhouse gas emissions
  • Noise pollution
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  • Saves limited mineral resources
  • Used metal items must be collected and transported to recycling centre
  • 95% saving in energy
  • Less noise and dust produced
  • Different metals must be sorted and removed
  • Reduces pollution (e.g. CO2) as burning less fossil fuels
  • Saves different amounts of energy
  • Less expensive
  • Fewer scars on the landscape from less open cast mining
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Properties of Transition Metals

  • Between groups 2 and 3 in the periodic table
  • Includes: iron, titanium + copper
  • High density
  • Good conductors of:
    • Heat
    • Electricity
  • Ductile - can be stretched into wires
  • Malleable - can be hammered into shape
  • Sonorous - makes sound
  • Shiny 
  • Some magnetic
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The Structure of Metals

  • Metals consist of giant structures of atoms arranged in a regular pattern- a lattice
  • The electrons on the outer shell of metal atoms are delocalised (free to move through the structure)
  • Thus they are good conductors of heat and electricity
  • Held together with electrostatic forces of attraction/metallic bonds between delocalised electrons and positive metal ions
    • Means they maintain regular structures, and usually have high melting and boiling points
  • The regular layers allow atoms to slide over each other, so are malleable.
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The Structure of Metals Cont.


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