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Earth Resources

Earth's resources

Earth's resources

  • Exhibition Text

    • The Earth’s resources are many and varied.  Some are illustrated by the samples shown here.  Coal has long been an important and abundant source of energy, salt is a nutrient necessary for life, and gold has been considered precious throughout human history because of its rarity, malleability, and color.

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  • For Educators

    • Topic: Earth Science

      Subtopic: Minerals and Resources

      Keywords: Salt, Geology, Minerals, gold, Coal

      Audience: General

In This Section

Gold in conglomerate

Gold in conglomerate

Since their discovery in 1886, the Witwatersrand deposits have yielded more than 40,000 tons of gold (enough to fill this hall to a depth of 2 meters).



Coal is the most abundant fossil fuel. It forms when dead and decaying plants are buried in swamps and marshes. 



Salt beds form in sedimentary basins where water collects and evaporates.

What is an Ore?

What is an ore?

Ore is defined as an economic concentration of minerals. The richness of ores can be vastly different, depending on the minerals and elements involved.

Dwindling Resources

Dwindling resources

Many natural resources renew themselves, but often do so much more slowly than they are extracted and used.

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