Non-metallic minerals are the most prevalent group among all kinds of minerals. They have some features that are unique to them and distinguish them from metallic and energy minerals. In particular, most of them have multi-purpose (limestone and crystalline rocks, sand, clay, etc.), however, in the manufacture of various materials can be used different raw materials. Most of the varieties of non-metallic minerals used without any processing or require minor additional costs for producing marketable products. Geological age and conditions of the same type of materials can be quite different.
As non-metallic mineral rocks appear all known genetic in nature types (igneous, metamorphic, sedimentary) and minerals almost all classes. Therefore, their geological distribution in space and in time almost universal (in a variety of geological structures) and polihronne (from Archean to the Quaternary).
Non-metallic minerals are essential to ensure the stable operation of construction, mining and technical, steel, agriculture, widely used in electronics, aviation, paper industry, medicine and so on. Commonly non-metallic minerals play an important role in the production of various construction materials whose production is carried out in enterprises that combine production, processing of raw materials and production of finished products and placed near the resource base.
In Ukraine, more than 4.5 thousand explored deposits of non-metallic minerals are 360 ore deposits of non-metallic materials assessed as related minerals. More than 1,300 deposits made industrial development.
The classification of non-metallic minerals, adopted by the State Service of Geology and Mineral Resources of Ukraine, on the nature of the use of minerals in various industries. This principle is the formation of groups of non-metallic minerals and made National Classifier of Ukraine “Classification of mineral resources” SC 008: 2007. Middle essentially useful to the group dug in English geological literature is the concept of Industrial minerals and rocks (industrial raw materials).
Non-metallic minerals are divided into:
- chemical ores (mining minerals) – barite, bishofit, bromine, etc.;
- industrial non-metal ores (mountain minerals) – bentonite clay, graphite ore, kaolin and others;
- non-ore raw materials for metallurgy – flux raw materials, dolomite for metallurgy, fluorite and others;
- construction raw materials – gypsum and anhydrite, refractory clay, construction stone, etc.;
- gemstone – amber, onyx marble, rhodonite.