Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Wednesday Quiz in Exile VI: Wealth for Toil

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.


Alethea said...

Erk, here we go again. Metals that I don't know are all going to be Copper because of the Moonta trip we took back in year 7.

1. Opals?
2. Copper?
3. Going to guess "something purple" just because.
4. Coal?
5. Copper?
6. Copper?
7. Quartz?
8. Copper ore?
9. Silver, Copper, Copper?
10. Copper?

Also uranium somewhere I suppose.

UnwiseOwl said...

One can always tell a Peter Goers listener...but you can't tell them much.

Alethea said...

Well I had to put something instead of guessing Copper three times, that would just be silly.

John said...

Not feeling too confident about this, but I'll give it a shot anyway. A few easy questions, but a lot where I'm just guessing.

1. Opals, beyond a doubt.

2. I'm going to say coal.

3. y'know, I didn't know Australia was a significant producer of any gemstones other than opals. South Africa not being mentioned in the question makes me think it's not diamonds, so I'll say sapphires.

4. Natural Gas, I reckon. It's that or coal, but in this case you've scrupulously avoided referring to it as a mineral.

5. This is a tricky one to guess at, but since there's apparently some close to Adelaide, I'm going to say iron.

6. An easy one - copper! Can't open your eyes in Burra without seeing copper oxide.

7. Red Quartz, perhaps?

8. An easy one here as well - bauxite is pretty much the only relevant aluminium ore.

9. This is just blind guessing, but I'm going to say iron, zinc, and coal.

10. Given the relatively small quantities, I'm going to say Uranium.

UnwiseOwl said...

Some good results for what I thought was a tricky week.

1. Opal, of course.
2. Gold. Note the concentration of abandoned minds in the Bendigo/Ballarat area and in central WA, the historic gold rush areas.
3. Diamonds.
4. Coal. Sorry, John, I'm not as tricky as you suspect.
5. Iron Ore, concentrated mostly in the newly-staunchly-Liberal area of northern WA.
6. Copper.
7. Garnet. I can't find that photo at all, which makes me sad.
8. Bauxite.
9. Silver, Lead and Zinc.
10. Uranium.

Which gives Joanna 7 points, with John just behind on 6, and Ale on 4. My original count gave both John and Joanna 7 and Ale 3, so obviously I was pretty tired at the time.

Michael5000 said...

Oops, hello, I'm late!

1. Australianite!

2. Why copper, of course.

3. Sapphire, let's say.

4. COAL, baby!

5. Also copper.

6. Gold.

7. Garnet?

8. Bauxite

9. Copper, silver, and nickel!

10. Let's say silicon.

Question: If the Blue Sky Mining Company won't come to my rescue, and if the sugar refining company won't save me, who's gonna save me?

Michael5000 said...

Ooh, check it out, instant scoring!

Hmm, looks like I got 4 1/3, unless you get all picky and don't allow "Austalianite" for opals.