Metals Notes (C1.3)

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  • Created by: elazaroo
  • Created on: 29-05-16 15:54

Extracting Metals

      Rocks with concentrated amounts of metal are called ores

      Open-cast Mining: digging a large hole in the ground to obtain metal ores

      Useless mined rock is kept in unsightly spoil tips

      Spoil: mining waste

Economic Factors

      How concentrated the ore is

      How easy it is to get the ore out of the ground (cheaper for open-cast mining than deep underground mining)

      How easy it is to extract the metal from the ore

      What price you can get for the metal you extract

      The long-term environmental cleanup costs

Extracting the Metal from the Ore

      Four Stages:

      The ore is mined.

                                           i.         can be open-cast digging or involve tunnelling down to underground deposits (more difficult and expensive)

      The ore is separated from impurities.

                                           i.         spoil is left by the mine

                                          ii.         spoil tips can be toxic which contain metals (i.e. copper and lead) that dissolve in the rain and leak into soil, harming plants

      The ore is converted to the metal.

                                           i.         usually heated in air or with carbon

                                          ii.         possibility (in both cases) of a reaction with the air to produce poisonous substances (i.e. sulfur dioxide)

      The metal formed is then purified.

      Pure metals (i.e. copper, aluminium) can be turned into useful objects

      Recycling worn/useless products is important because metals can be hard to make or very rare

      Recycling Metals…:

      Saves money

      Means that reserves of metal in the ground last longer

      Avoids waste and pollution

      Lessens the effects of…


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