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Vital for Living

Life's Essentials

Daily life would be impossible without mineral products.

Wherever you live, however you travel and whatever you do, the products from mineral extraction are playing an essential part that’s often taken for granted.

No other materials can compete with mineral products for their versatility, durability and availability. That’s why we have come to rely on these raw materials and the products derived from them, for every aspect of our lives. Today in Britain the average family indirectly creates the demand for a typical lorry load of (20 tonnes) of mineral products every year – including sand, gravel and crushed rock, along with cement, concrete and asphalt.

Let's start at home

Whether you live in a house or an apartment the chances are that the vast majority of the materials used in the building are derived from mineral products:

  • Foundations are made from concrete (aggregates & cement)
  • Walls are made from bricks (clay & sand) or blocks (concrete), bonded with mortar (sand & cement)
  • The roof tiles are made from clay, concrete or slate
  • The plasterboard and plaster are made from gypsum
  • The render is made from sand & cement or lime
  • The glass is made using high-purity silica sand and limestone
  • Sanitaryware and tiling is made from clay
  • Paints and plastics are made using high-purity silica sand
  • Steel structures are made using iron ore and limestone
  • Driveways, paths and patios are made from gravel, crushed rock, concrete products or asphalt

Essential everywhere

Our towns, cities and national infrastructure (transport, utilities, etc) are made from aggregates, concrete, asphalt and other products derived from minerals. Even steel and glass can’t be made without essential minerals like limestone and high-purity silica sand. The relative ease, comfort, safety and security we enjoy in our everyday lives depends on a reliable supply of raw materials from the ground.

Approximately half of all mineral products used in Britain go to public sector projects from social housing, schools and hospitals to roads, railways and flood defences. The other half goes is used by the private sector for housing, retail and leisure facilities, commercial and industrial developments and essential energy and water infrastructure.

Here are examples of the volumes of mineral products required: