Home / Knowledge Base / Geology / Commodities (page 2)


Important mined minerals, metals and other commodities including their uses and sources.

Rare Earth Elements

rare earth oxides

There are 17 rare earth elements or REE for short. They include the 15 lanthanides, plus scandium (Sc) and yttrium (Y). The lanthanides are  range from the lightest lanthanum (La), ...

Read More »

7 Rarest Metals Which You Never Heard Of


In terms of abundance in the Earth’s crust, the rarest metals are; gold, platinum, osmium, iridium, palladium, ruthenium, rhodium, tellurium and rhenium. The first two most of us have heard ...

Read More »


A tungsten carbide tipped drill bit used for drilling holes through bricks, tiles, and concrete.

Tungsten is the 74th element on the periodic table and is closely related to both chromium and molybdenum. Tungsten has the symbol W, an abbreviation of wolfram, which is of ...

Read More »


Tin cans are composed mainly of steel with a thin coating of tin.

Tin is number 50 on the periodic table of the elements. It has the symbol Sn, which is an abbreviation of stannum; the Latin word for tin. With a concentration ...

Read More »

Diamonds – Where They Are Found and Why

Cullian (Premier) Mine - South Africa Image CC

Like gold, diamonds were originally recovered from alluvial deposits. However, unlike gold, the actual mining of diamonds from source deposits didn’t start until the late 19th century in the Kimberley ...

Read More »

Platinum Group Metals

Platinum Eagle Coin

There are six platinum group metals or PGMs  . The group comprises; platinum (Pt), palladium (Pd), rhodium (Rh), iridium (Ir), osmium (Os) and ruthenium (Ru). The platinum group metals are ...

Read More »


Zinc coating on iron sheeting displaying feathery needle-like crystals. The process of coating iron and steel for rust-proofing is known as galvanising.

Zinc is the 30th element on the periodic table. It has the symbol Zn, which is an abbreviation of zinke; the German word for “tooth-like, pointed or jagged”, which probably ...

Read More »


Galena Crystals on Barite from Cerro de Pasco, Peru Image: CC

Lead is number 82 on the periodic table of the elements. It is the most stable of the high atomic number elements. All other elements higher in atomic number, undergo ...

Read More »


Banded iron formations, Pilbara, Western Australia

Iron is number 26 on the periodic table of the elements. Iron has the symbol Fe, which is an abbreviation of ferrum; the Latin word for iron. From studying iron-nickel ...

Read More »



Silver, along with gold, has been prized by humanity since ancient times. It’s still one of the world’s most traded metals. Silver is number 47 on the periodic table of ...

Read More »