Industrial minerals

An industrial mineral is a rock, a mineral or other naturally occurring material of economic value.

An industrial mineral is defined by its physical properties, such as fibrosity, insulation capacity, density, hardness, and so on. Industrial minerals do not cover metals, energy minerals and precious stones, which are instead defined by their chemical content of the substance in question.

An industrial mineral may contain metal elements, such as magnesite (containing magnesium oxide), but it is its property as an insulator in clinker that makes it an industrial mineral.

Examples of occurrence in Sweden


Limestone occurs as sedimentary and crystalline rock. Crystalline limestone is called marble.

Applications: fillers, pigments, coatings, binding agents, slag formers, flue-gas cleaning, lake liming, soil stabilisation, cement, concrete, asphalt, glass, cosmetics, medicines, dietary supplements, decontamination, and more.

Sandstone, quartzite, silica sand

Quartz occurs in crystalline form (quartzite), sedimentary form (sandstone) and as loose soil (sand, silica sand).

Applications: filter material, concrete raw material, glass raw material, wear surface, filler, optics, electronics, sandblasting, paving, refractory ceramics, pottery, tombstones, corrosion inhibitors, construction, solar panels, and more.


Graphite is a crystal of the element carbon in which the atoms form planar layers with a hexagonal structure. It occurs naturally as an authigenic mineral or as hydrothermal fissure fillings. Graphite conducts electricity, but has a much higher resistivity than metals.

Applications: lubricants, pencils, batteries, sealants, steel manufacture, heat insulation, light-weight materials, and more.

Slate is formed by compaction and occurs as igneous, metamorphic (slate) and sedimentary rock (shale).

Applications: insulation, roofs, roofing felt construction materials, tombstones, decoration, pigments, energy.

Talc, soapstone (talc + chlorite)

Talc is a metamorphic mineral originating in Mg-rich rocks/minerals such as olivine.

Applications: crayons, baby powder, cosmetics, fillers in paper, plastics, paint, nutritional supplements, lubricants, glazing, and more. Soapstone is used as a refractory material for stoves.


Last reviewed 2020-10-12