Mining is the extraction of valuable minerals or other geological materials from the Earth, usually from an ore body, lode, vein, seam, reef or placer deposit. The U.S. mining industry consists of the search for, extraction, beneficiation, and processing of naturally occurring solid minerals from the earth. These mined minerals include coal, metals such as iron, copper, or zinc, and industrial minerals such as potash, limestone, and other crushed rocks. Oil and natural gas extraction are not included in this industry. Metals and other minerals are an essential source of raw materials for the U.S. building and chemical industries and are also a critical part of the production of everyday electronics and consumer products. For example, over 65 different minerals are required to produce a modern computer.
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