国际非金属矿学家G. Christidis 教授在2018青阳论坛开幕式上致辞

 国际非金属矿学家G. Christidis 教授

希腊 George Christidis 教授    国际经济地质和非金属矿矿物学家
 论坛   名誉主席

Remarks at the Opening Ceremony of the Second World Forum of Industrial Minerals (WFIM-2)
George Christidis
Professor of Economic Geology-industrial Mineralogy 
Honorary Chair of  WFIM-2
Qingyang, Anhui, China
October 21, 2018



Address of the 2nd World Forum of Industrial Minerals, 20-22 October 2018, Chizhou, Anhui, China.
Dear Chairman of the WFIM-2, Dear colleagues,

It is my great honour and pleasure to address the second World Forum of Industrial Minerals. It is also a real pleasure because my participation to this important event coincides with my first visit to your beautiful country, with the glorious civilization which stems continuously from the Xia and the Shang dynasties ~2000 BC till today. With nearly 5000 years of continuous history, China is one of the world's oldest
civilizations, and is regarded as one of the cradles of civilization.
Like all great civilizations the Chinese one has been based on the continuous supply of raw materials, both industrial minerals and metals, for the production of various end products, including impressive monuments. Many of the participants of this conference are clay scientists and engineers. I would be surprised if this had not been the case. The Great Wall of China, a fortification masterpiece, was made of structural (brick) clays. Porcelain was also invented here, and how couldn’t it be? The Chinese people knew the importance of kaolin, major industrial clay, principal constituent of porcelain, 2000 years ago. After all, the name "kaolin" is derived from "Gaoling" village (literally: "High Ridge"), in
Jiangxi Province. At nearly the same time paper was invented in this country. Although at that time paper did not contain industrial mineral fillers in its composition, without paper the western civilization would not have advanced. The invention of printing by Gutenberg, which was based on this Chinese invention, facilitated the spread of knowledge and eliminated illiteracy.
Returning to the modern world, the purpose of this conference is the spread of new knowledge on industrial minerals. According to P.W. Scott, the term industrial minerals includes “a loose grouping of products made from Earth materials that are not a source of a metal or energy”. These raw materials are important indicators for the economy of any country because their production reflects its economic maturity. Actually, there is a turning point beyond which the importance of industrial minerals surpasses that of metals for the economy of a country. In industrialized countries the value of industrial minerals is far greater than that of metals. This is reflected in the world production of industrial minerals : World production excluding aggregates and cement increased gradually from 2012 to 2016 (latest available statistics). Available data for aggregates and cement for the EU countries show similar trend, notwithstanding the small increase of GNP in most of the western countries during that time.
In addition, the most important and interesting characteristic of industrial minerals is that they follow the socioeconomic trends which affect demand for raw materials in modern world. These trends include:

  • Increase of productivity (or doing more with less).
  • Growth of recycling-reuse of waste products (it depends on the type of material, more important for metals).
  • Shift from metals to plastics, ceramics and composites.
  • Environmental pressures steadily increasing (land permits, longer lived products, cleaner emissions etc)
  • Shift from materials dependency to technology dependency.
It is important that a significant part of the presentations in the WFIM-2 address the aforementioned issues. Presentations involve research on novel properties and applications of industrial minerals, with clays being significant materials in this aspect. Serving myself as principal editor of a mainstream international clay journal I would be glad to receive manuscripts from research presented in WFIM-2.
With these in mind, I am confident that the WFIM-2 will be a very successful scientific event, and I am looking forward to attending the presentations.
George Christidis
Professor of Economic Geology-industrial Mineralogy
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