Breaking down Silica Valley

By Cameron Perks
Published: Thursday, 15 December 2016

Spruce Pine in the US state of North Carolina is the self-styled “silica valley” on which the more famous Silicon Valley of California relies for high purity quartz. Cameron Perks, IM Correspondent, investigates how the supply concentration of HPQ is causing concern and creating opportunities for other producers.

As the second most common mineral in the Earth’s crust after feldspar, quartz has many well-known uses, from window glass, to sandpaper, to cement.Chemically, quartz is commonly understood as silica, or silicon dioxide (SiO2), but it rarely exists in this pure form. In nature, quartz contains various impurities, the type...

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