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Metallic raw materials

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Industry as well as various service providers have a high demand for base materials and elements like metals, earth, stones and industrial minerals. Approximately two thirds of consumed raw material consists of natural mineral products. These types of raw material belong to the non-renewable and are therefore considered finite resources. The deposits have developed through magmatic processes within the earth's crust or through concentration of different substances over a period of time. The raw metals are obtained from some of the most important metallic base materials, the ores. In a foundry, products like aluminum, iron and steel, which are indispensable components for modern industrial societies, are made from these ores by applying specific techniques. In addition to automobile production and the shipbuilding industry, the jewellery and electrical industries also require metallic base materials such as gold, platinum, silver, copper and tin. In order to fulfil the continuously growing demand for base materials, researchers are constantly developing new and more efficient mining and conditioning processes. Due to the negligible amount of raw material deposits for metals, many European countries such as Germany almost entirely depend on importing these materials. Although the country's recycling industry is modern and widely developed, it can only compensate the consumption to a small degree. This problem represents a great challenge for researchers, as the focus will increasingly be on the extraction of alternative raw materials in the years to come. Some scientists are primarily concentrating on the deep sea as a further deposit. For a more sustainable extraction and thereby more effective use of non-renewable raw materials, the byproducts and accompanying metal impurities that are found on the ocean floor are to be separated and extracted as well.

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