Natural mineral formations of the earth’s crust of inorganic and organic origin, which can be effectively used in the field of material production. According to their physical state they are divided into solid (ores and non-metallic minerals), liquid and gaseous (combustible and inert gases). The occurrence of minerals is due to a favorable combination of geological, physico-chemical and physico-geographical conditions. Minerals were formed throughout the history of the development of the earth’s crust – the substances necessary for the formation of minerals came in molten magma, in liquid and gaseous solutions from the upper mantle of the earth’s crust and the earth’s surface. When magmatic melts were introduced into the earth’s crust and cooled, magmatic mineral deposits appeared – various ores, limestones, granites, precious and ornamental stones, etc. Sedimentary minerals accumulated at the bottom of ancient seas, lakes, rivers, and swamps, among which mechanical sediments – sands, clays, gravel-chemical – dolomites, limestones, salts, some biochemical ores – oil, combustible gas, coal, oil shale, etc. Alluvial deposits formed during accumulation in ocean, sea and lake meadows torozhdeniyah heavy chemically stable precious minerals – gold, platinum, diamonds, as well as tungsten, titanium, zirconium, tin, thorium ores. Deposits of residual minerals were formed as a result of weathering from the surface of the earth’s crust of various easily decomposing compounds and the redistribution of some part of the mineral mass. These are deposits of native sulfur, magnesite, talc ores, kaolin, aluminum (bauxite), etc. In addition, under the influence of high pressures and temperatures in the deep bowels of the Earth, previously existing deposits can be transformed into new mineral deposits. Such deposits, for example, belong to the largest iron ore deposit, the Kursk Magnetic Anomaly in Russia.
Minerals are the basis for the development of energy, metallurgy, chemical industry, construction, etc. Accordingly, all minerals are conventionally divided into five groups. The first group is fuel and energy minerals (oil, coal, natural gas, oil shale, peat, uranium ore). The second group includes ores (iron and manganese ores, chromites, bauxites, copper, lead-zinc, nickel, tungsten, tin, antimony ores, noble metal ores, etc.). The third group includes mining and chemical raw materials (phosphorites, apatites, table salt, potassium and magnesia salts, sulfur and its compounds, boron ores, barite, bromine and iodine-containing solutions). The fourth group includes natural building materials, non-metallic minerals, ornamental, technical and precious stones (marble, granite, limestone, rock crystal, quartz, jasper, corundum, garnet, amber, diamond, etc.). The fifth group is hydromineral (underground fresh and mineralized) water.
Minerals contained in the bowels of the Earth on the territory of a country (state) are its mineral resources, which are the basis for the development of industrial production. Accordingly, the potential development opportunities for the economies of most countries are largely dependent on mineral reserves, the size of their production and efficiency of use.