What is it and where is it formed? Zinc
is a mineral that is usually not found by itself. Some ores
that have zinc in them are:
sphalerite, franklinite, willemite,
zincite, smithsonite, hemimorphite, and hydrozincite. Some of these ores are
fluorescent. Zinc is
metamorphic rocks. A sheet of zinc would
look like a sheet of aluminum but it would be heavier.
How and where is it mined? Zinc ore is
underground and Surface [Open-pit] mining or a
combination of both. The
Sterling Hill Mine is famous for
mining zinc. The mines are closed now except for
the ore is mined, they do something called flash smelting where
they heat up the ore until it makes zinc oxide [zinc + oxygen].
The zinc ends up as powder. Zinc ore is mined in China,
Australia, Peru, Canada, and the U.S. [Alaska, Tennessee,
What is it used for? Zinc is used in
paints, for coating steel, automotive parts, electrical fuses,
batteries, roof gutters, pennies, rubber, deodorant, and much
more. Pennies are made of zinc covered with copper. Zinc is
used to cover metal that will rust. This is called galvanizing.
Zinc is needed by animals and humans to stay healthy.
Scientists are worried about the amount of zinc that is being
used in industry because it ends up being dumped into bodies of
water as waste. When this happens, fish that live in it, or
people who end up drinking it, can be hurt by it.