Definition (Encyclopedia of Global Resources)
Twenty-four elements are found in their “native” state (uncombined with other elements in nature), but only eight of these native elements are important ores. These eight significant native elements are divided into metals (gold, silver, copper, and platinum), semimetals (antimony), and nonmetals (sulfur, graphite, and diamond).
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Overview (Encyclopedia of Global Resources)
Only gold and platinum are important ores of the native metals. The main ores of silver and copper are derived from silver and copper sulfides. Gold comes from South Africa, former Soviet states, China, and the United States. Native silver occurs in Germany, Canada, and the United States. Native copper occurs in the United States and Bolivia. Native platinum occurs in South Africa, Colombia, and Russia. Native sulfur is a major ore, and it occurs in Texas, Louisiana, and, internationally, Sicily. Most diamonds are found in Africa, Australia, or Russia. The main producers of graphite are India, Mexico, China, former Soviet states, and North and South Korea.
The native elements have a number of important uses. Gold is used as a world monetary standard and in jewelry, dental fillings, and various scientific applications. Silver is used in photographic film, silverware, and electronic equipment. Copper is used for wire, brass, and bronze. Platinum is used as a catalyst to control automobile emissions and in jewelry and dentistry. Sulfur is used for the manufacture of sulfuric acid, insecticides, hydrogen sulfide, and rubber. Diamond is used as a gemstone, for cutting glass, and as a fine powder for polishing gemstones. Graphite is used as a lubricant in oil, as a writing tool (it is mixed with clay in pencils), and in paints, batteries, and refractory crucibles.
Gold (abbreviated Au; atomic number 79; atomic weight 196.97) is...
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