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Which mineral is the most valuable mineral in the world?

We are increasingly hearing that Estonian geologists and mining engineers are focusing on other minerals, such as gold mining, instead of extracting local oil shale. The TTU Institute of Geology has compiled a list of the five most valuable mined minerals to find out what the value of the most difficult to extract resources of the earth’s interior is. According to Rutt Hints, a researcher at the TTU Institute of Geology, the top 10 most valuable minerals consist of rare gems and rare earth metals. “There are many variations in the sequence, but most often the top five most valuable minerals are extremely rare gemstones such as: red diamond, grandidierite, painite, serendibite and alexandrite. Along with precious stones, the most valuable metals are platinum and rhodium,” describes Hints. The high market value of these fossils reflects their frequency in nature. “Since the content of these elements in the earth’s crust is very small or their extraction is associated with single deposits, their price is corresponding,” Hints explained. “Technologically, we are most affected by the shortage of platinum metals and their high prices. Therefore, for example, recently they have begun to intensively explore the possibilities of platinum mining in space. Unlike the Earth’s crust, known asteroids can be rich in platinum metals – the projected cost of containing platinum in one asteroid a couple of hundred meters in size could be 20-40 billion euros,” Hints added.

The most valuable minerals in the world

1. Red Diamond

The most famous gemstone, the diamond, is by far the most expensive mineral in general. The color of the stone and its other properties also affect its cost, which, due to its rare color, can reach up to 300 euros per gram. The most expensive is considered to be a red diamond, the price of which, with a weight of more than 000 carats (0,2 gram is equal to approximately 1 carats), will be hundreds of thousands of euros. The main deposit of red diamond is in Western Australia, and it has also been found in Brazil, Russia and Africa. Formed in the earth’s crust under the influence of high temperature and high pressure, the gemstone is also special in that it consists only of carbon.

2. Serendibit

The rare and valuable serendibite ranges in color from light yellow to blue-green, greyish-black and black. The price of the mineral, discovered in 1902 in Sri Lanka and named after the name of this island in ancient Arabic, can today reach up to 300 euros per gram. The two main deposits of serendibite are located in both the tropical rainforests of Sri Lanka and in Myanmar, near the city of Mogou, where painite originates. Limited deposits of the mineral have also been discovered in America, Russia, Canada and Tanzania.

3. Painite

Painite is a hexagonal-shaped gemstone that is red in color and can range in color from orange-red to brown-red, and is considered not only one of the most valuable, but also one of the rarest gemstones in the world. British gemologist Arthur Payne, after whom the mineral got its name, discovered it in 1950 in Myanmar and later it was found only in the same region of Mogou, in which, in addition to painite, they are looking for several other valuable minerals by open mining – ruby, sapphire, spinel, etc. Today the price of painite is about 10 euros per gram.

4. Grandidierite

The green-blue mineral grandidierite was discovered in 1902 in Madagascar by the French explorer Alfred Grandidier, after whom the stone was named. Until now, the most important deposit of this mineral is located near the village of Tranomaro, which can only be reached by off-road vehicles along a difficult 60-kilometer road. And the last leg of the journey to the mining site will have to be covered on foot in half a day, and in this region there is a high risk of becoming a victim of a pirate attack. All this explains the high cost of the mineral, which starts from 8000 euros per gram – and the most beautiful and clean stones are valued even higher.

5. Alexandrite

Varying in color from red to green, alexandrite is found in Russia, Brazil and Africa, as well as in Sri Lanka, as well as other valuable minerals. The rare stone was named after the Russian Tsar, and today the price of one gram is about 8000 euros. There are many lucky Estonians who have the opportunity to participate in the extraction of valuable minerals. For example, in a gold mine in Lapland, graduates of the TTU Institute of Geology work, who search for gold every day in the depths of the earth. And since diamonds have not yet been found in Estonia, the Institute of Geology, which trains specialists in the earth’s interior, is trying to find out what raw materials Estonia will need in the future and what the best technologies for their extraction are. According to the Institute of Geology of TTU24/7 Wall Street conducted a detailed analysis of 10 countries with the largest and most valuable natural resources on Earth. Using estimates of each country’s total reserves and the market value of these resources, the 10 countries that have the most valuable natural resource reserves were identified. Some of these resources, including uranium, silver, and phosphates, are not as valuable as others due to low demand or due to their rarity. However, in the case of oil, natural gas, timber, coal, these natural resources can be worth tens of trillions of dollars, because the demand for them is high and these resources are relatively abundant.

1. Russia

Total resource value: $75,7 trillion.
Oil reserves (value): 60 billion barrels ($7,08 trillion)
Natural gas reserves (value): 1,680 trillion. cubic feet ($19 trillion)
Timber reserves (value): 1,95 billion acres ($28,4 trillion)

When it comes to natural resources, Russia is the richest country in the world. It leads among all countries in the world in terms of natural gas and timber reserves. The sheer size of the country is both a blessing and a curse, since the construction of pipelines for gas transportation, as well as railroads for wood transportation, costs incredible sums.

In addition to having such large reserves of gas and timber, Russia has the second largest coal deposits in the world and the third largest gold deposits. In addition, it has the second largest deposits of rare earth minerals, although they are not currently mined.

2. United States

Total resource value: $45 trillion
Oil reserves (value): not in the top 10
Natural gas reserves (value): 272,5 trillion. cube m ($3,1 trillion)
Timber reserves (value): 750 million acres ($10,9 trillion)

The United States has 31,2% of the world’s proven coal reserves. They are valued at 30 trillion dollars. Today they are the most valuable reserves on earth. The country has about 750 million acres of forestland, which is worth about $11 trillion. Timber and coal together are worth approximately 89% of the total value of the country’s natural resources. The US is also among the top five countries with global reserves of copper, gold and natural gas.

Total resource value: $34,4 trillion
Oil reserves (value): 266 billion barrels ($7 trillion)
Natural gas reserves (value): 258.5 trillion. cubic meters ($2,9 trillion)
Wood reserves (value): not in the top 10

Saudi Arabia owns about 20% of the world’s oil, the largest share of any country. All of the country’s significant resources are in carbon – oil or gas. The Kingdom has the fifth largest natural gas reserves in the world. As these resources dwindle, Saudi Arabia will eventually lose its high position on this list. However, this will not happen for several decades.

Total resource value: $33,2 trillion
Oil reserves (value): 178 billion barrels ($1 trillion)
Natural gas reserves (value): not in the top 10
Timber reserves (value): 775 million acres ($11,3 trillion)

Before the discovery of oil sands deposits, Canada’s total mineral reserves likely would have kept it out of this list. The oil sands added about 150 billion barrels to Canada’s oil supply in 2009 and 2010. The country also produces a decent amount of phosphate, although its phosphate rock deposits are not among the top 10 in the world. In addition, Canada has the world’s second largest proven uranium reserves and the third largest timber reserves.

Total resource value: $27,3 trillion.
Oil reserves (value): 136 billion barrels ($2 trillion)
Natural gas reserves (value): 991600000000000 cubic meters. m ($11,2 trillion)
Wood reserves (value): not in the top 10

Iran shares with Qatar the giant South Pars/North Dome gas field in the Persian Gulf. The country has about 16% of the world’s natural gas reserves. Iran also has the third largest proven amount of oil in the world. This is more than 10% of the world’s oil reserves. At the moment, the country is experiencing problems in realizing its resources due to its alienation from international markets.

Total resource value: $23 trillion.
Oil reserves (value): not in the top 10
Natural gas reserves (value): not in the top 10
Timber reserves (value): 450 million acres ($6,5 trillion)

China’s resource value is based largely on its reserves of coal and rare earth minerals. China has significant coal reserves, accounting for more than 13% of the world’s total. Recently, shale gas deposits were discovered here. Once assessed, China’s status as a leader in natural resources will only improve.

Total resource value: $21,8 trillion.
Oil reserves (value): not in the top 10
Natural gas reserves (value): not in the top 10
Timber reserves (value): 1,2 billion acres ($17,5 trillion)

Significant reserves of gold and uranium largely contributed to its place on this list. Brazil also owns 17% of the world’s iron ore. The most valuable natural resource, however, is wood. The country owns 12,3% of the world’s timber reserves, valued at $17.45 trillion. To ensure consistency and accuracy of the study, recently discovered offshore oil reserves have not been included in this report. According to preliminary estimates, the field may contain 44 billion barrels of oil.

Total resource value: $19,9 trillion.
Oil reserves (value): not in the top 10
Natural gas reserves (value): not in the top 10
Timber reserves (value): 369 million acres ($5,3 trillion)

Australia’s natural wealth lies in its vast quantities of timber, coal, copper and iron. The country is in the top three for total reserves of seven resources on this list. Australia has the largest reserves of gold in the world – 14,3% of the world’s reserves. It also supplies 46% of the world’s uranium. In addition, the country has significant natural gas reserves offshore its northwest coast, which it shares with Indonesia.

Total resource value: $15,9 trillion. Z
Oil reserves (value): 115 billion barrels ($13,6 trillion)
Natural gas reserves (value): 111,9 trillion. cube ft ($1,3 trillion)
Wood reserves (value): not in the top 10

Iraq’s greatest wealth is oil, with 115 billion barrels of proven reserves. This represents almost 9% of the world’s total oil. Despite being relatively easy to produce, most of these reserves remain untapped due to political differences between the central government and the Kurdistan Region over ownership of the oil. Iraq also has one of the most significant phosphate rock reserves in the world, worth more than $1,1 trillion. However, these deposits have not been fully developed.

Total resource value: $14,3 trillion.
Oil reserves (value): 99,4 billion barrels ($11,7 trillion)
Natural gas reserves (value): 170,9 cubic meters ft ($1,9 trillion)
Wood reserves (value): not in the top 10

Venezuela is one of the 10 largest resource holders in terms of iron, natural gas and oil. Natural gas reserves in this South American country rank eighth in the world and amount to 179,9 cubic meters. lbs. These reserves represent just over 2,7% of global reserves. In Venezuela, according to experts, there are 99 billion barrels of oil, which is 7,4% of the total reserves in the world.

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