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Industry

A machine at a chocolate factory The word “industry” describes an activity that produces the goods or services that people need or want. Industries fall into three groups. Primary industries are those that extract or grow raw materials, such as mining, fishing, farming and forestry. Secondary industries are manufacturing industries, which turn the raw materials into products such as cars, matches, books, pharmaceuticals (producing drugs for use in medicine) and buildings. Tertiary industries are service industries, which provide services for people. These industries include transport, shops, healthcare, banking, education, leisure and tourism.


Mining

The world's major mineral depositsThe Earth contains many minerals that are vital to us today. Minerals are non-living substances such as rocks and metals found naturally in the Earth’s crust. Some metals, such as gold, can be found at the surface, but others are buried deep in the ground and have to be mined.

Iron ore is clawed from the rock face and tipped into a dump truck at an opencast mine.Metals found near the surface, such as platinum, tin and uranium, are mined by the opencast method. Huge excavators cut away the surface rock and dig out the ore. In sub-surface mining, which is often necessary for metals such as silver, lead and zinc, tunnels and shafts are dug deep into the Earth. First, geologists determine where the metals are. They carry out surveys of the rock layers beneath the surface, and also measure the magnetism of the rocks and minerals. This is because the magnetic field is stronger in rocks that contain metals such as iron, nickel and cobalt.

China is the top manufacturing country in the world by output, a title held by the USA for over 100 years until 2010.

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