What is Garnet?


12:48 PM

1 min read
What is Garnet? Blog Image


New research found that Australia’s enigmatic pink sand- Garnet was born in Antarctic mountains.

About Garnet

  • It is rare in beach sand which is destroyed by prolonged exposure to the waves and currents of the ocean. 
  • It is a fairly common mineral, deep red in color. It crystallizes at high temperatures, usually where large mountain belts grind upwards out of colliding tectonic plates.
  • These are opaque, transparent to translucent minerals that can be found as individual crystals, pebbles, or clumps of inter-grown crystals.
  • There are six main types of garnet, all with slightly different chemical compositions. All kinds of garnet can form in the same place and sometimes garnets can be a combination of types e.g. pyrope-almadine or pyrope-spessartine.
  • Formation:
    • These are formed in metamorphic (schist, amphibolite, and eclogite) and igneous (some granites and peridotite) rocks.
    • This mineral grows deep in Earth’s crust, in the same kind of conditions in which diamonds are formed.
  • When sand contains an abundance of garnets, it usually contains epidote and magnetite as well.
  • Australia produces almost half of the world's garnets, with the rest mainly coming from India, USA, and China.
  • Uses: It is used for manufacturing blasting media, abrasives, grinding wheels, mosaic cutting stones, decorative wall plasters, ceramics, polishing of picture tubes, glass polishing and antiskid surface for roads, air strips etc.

Q1: What are Critical Minerals?

A mineral is critical when the risk of supply shortage and associated impact on the economy is (relatively) higher than other raw materials. These minerals are essential for economic development and national security, and their lack of availability/ the concentration of extraction/ processing in a few geographical locations could potentially lead to supply chain vulnerabilities.

Source: The Hindu