December 9, 1879, Thomas Edison formed the Edison Ore Milling Company. The innovator had some new technologies for producing iron from iron ore. While Edison’s endeavor was not financially successful, minerals derived from ores are essential for many products. Iron for steel immediately comes to mind. In an age of plastics and nano-materials from carbon, we tend to forget that our iPhones, computers, soda cans and other common everyday items have materials that are mined and obtained from processing ores.
You probably have materials in your home that have been minimally processed. Have a cat? You might have bentonite, a clay material used as a kitty litter. How about in the laundry? Borax a cleaner is mined. Depending on your salt – it can be mined or come from evaporation. Talc is another example.
The National Mining Association has a site that gives you a list of 40 common minerals and their uses.