Human uses

Resources from the earth

Ochre pits used by Aboriginal people as a source of colouring pigments and natural dyes.
Image: Horst Mahr
Source: Photolibrary

Stones were among the first tools and weapons used by humans. Later, metals became the basis of wealth and the foundation of empires. Ancient history is recorded on tablets of clay and illustrated with mineral pigments. Likenesses of significant people have been preserved in stone and metal monuments and on coins made of precious metals.

Modern society depends on rock and mineral resources. They are essential for the construction of our cities and for power, transport and communications. They enrich us in art, and we wear them as personal adornments.