Some good things come out of the ground, and Australia has more than its fair share. This week's quiz celebrates the mineral wealth of Australia, all you have to do is use your problem solving skills and geographical knowledge to identify the mineral described in each question without looking them up or talking to others, offences punishable by being left in one of my many local abandoned mine shafts overnight.
What mineral is that?
1. Fittingly, considering that Australia produces 97% of the world's supply, this gemstone is the national stone, found primarily in Andamooka and Coober Pedy in South Australia, and Lightning Ridge in New South Wales. Deposits have been discovered on Mars, but the large transport costs for Martian varieties should ensure that Australia continues to be the major source for the discernable future.
2. This map (courtesy of the Department of Mining's snazzy Australian Mine Atlas, which is good for a look after you've finished the quiz) depicts historic mines of this mineral in green and current mines in red.
3. Australia has the third biggest deposits of this valuable gemstone in the world, after Russia and Botswana, and just before the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
4. Australia is the biggest exporter of this resource (clocking in at a massive 25%, or 278 million tons in 2009), which is mostly sent to China, the biggest producer, to fuel their energy needs.
5. Again from our friends at the department, this one represents mineral deposits of which metal?
6. One of the earliest resources discovered in Australia, this element was mined extensively in the mid 1800's in the South Australian towns of Burra and Kapunda, but is now found mostly at the Olympic Dam mine and in the Western Queensland city of Mt. Isa.
7. This is NOT a picture of myself and my brother (but it would have been if I could find it in time) that was taken a number of years ago in Ruby Gap, Nothern Territory, where the rivers flow literally red with gemstones. When news of this miraculous occurence got out, it caused the Australian "Ruby Rush" in the latter part of the 19th century, and thousands of people left their homes and travelled north. Too late, it was soon discovered that these were not rubies but are actually which comparitively worthless stone?
8. Australia is the biggest producer of this ore of aluminium, producing more than twice the amount of any other country. Australia's deposits are found mostly in the extreme South-West of Western Australia and in the extreme North of Queensland and the Northern Territory.
9. This is a panorama (courtesty of our friends at wikipedia) of Broken Hill in New South Wales(the Hill itself was mined out of existance almost completely decades ago), the world's largest single desosit of galena. Once home of BHP, the world's biggest mining company, the mine was once open-cut but is now entirely subterranean. Which three minerals are predominately found here?
10. This timeline depicts Australian production of what?
Please leave your answers in a carbon-neutral fashion in the comments.