Minerals (Category A)
Diatomite, also known as diatomaceous earth, is the naturally occurring fossilized remains of diatoms. Diatoms are single-celled aquatic algae. They belong to the class of golden brown algae known as Bacillariophyceae. Diatomite is a near pure sedimentary deposit consisting almost entirely of silica. The Greeks first used diatomite over 2,000 years ago in pottery and brick.
There are many diatomite deposits throughout the world, but those of high-purity which are commercially viable are rare.
The properties which make diatomite valuable include low density, high porosity, high surface area, abrasiveness, insulating properties, inertness, absorptive capacity, brightness, and high silica content. Diatomite has a wide variety of uses, and is a component in hundreds of products, or vital to the manufacturing process of thousands more.