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Chapter 14: The lithosphere

14.1 Introduction (ESBR8)

This chapter looks at the lithosphere and explores mining in more detail. Mining is very important in South Africa as a large part of the economy depends on gold, diamond and coal mining. This chapter looks at the history of mankind, what the lithosphere is, what is in the lithosphere and then goes on to look at mining. The general techniques used across all types of mining are looked at and then gold mining is explored in greater detail. Learners can do the mining section as a project (either in groups or individually) that they then present to the class. If learners do a project ensure that each mineral listed in CAPs (iron, phosphate, coal, diamond, copper, platinum, zinc, chrome, asbestos, manganese and gold) is covered by at least one learner in the class.

This topic provides a great opportunity to look at social justice and economic concerns. The various class discussions and debates provided give learners the chance to think about some critical issues in South Africa.

In Grade 10 we studied the elements. We learnt about the different elements and the compounds that could be formed from those elements. But where do all these elements come from? Where did mankind find them and how has he used them?

This chapter will explore the part of the Earth known as the lithosphere. We will find out what the lithosphere is and how the elements are distributed within it.