Friday, November 16, 2012

Cobalt APEX Mineral

Cobalt (Co #27) is the next element on the periodic table for my APEX mineral collection. 
Wikipedia Cobalt
Cobalt Minerals - There are lots of Cobalt minerals.
Heterogenite (Co+++O(OH)) with 64% Cobalt is my APEX Mineral.  In this case I'm cheating.  Heterogenite is a weathering product of other rocks and is a Hydrate which I'm trying to avoid.  However, in this case I couldn't resist because other Cobalt minerals have much less Cobalt or are not common.
Most Cobalt is refined as the pure element for use in alloys.  40% of Cobalt is mined in the Democratic Republic of the Congo where hugely rich deposits of Cobalt are found. The political situation in the Congo influences the price of cobalt significantly.
Cobalt compounds have been used for centuries to impart a rich blue color to glass, glazes and ceramics. 
Cobalt is primarily used as the metal, in the preparation of magnetic, wear-resistant and high-strength alloys.  
Cobalt is used in many enzymes including vitamin B12. It is an essential trace dietary mineral for all types of life.