October 23, 2009

Photo of the Week: Because No One Should Read Too Much on Friday

This is a piece of cassiterite, the most common tin ore in the world today. Though this sample comes from a mine in Alaska, cassiterite is mined all over the world, including conflict-ridden areas such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Tin is used mainly to manufacture containers and for electrical purposes, and the Defense National Stockpile keeps tabs (pdf) on American supply.

Photo: Courtesy of Will Rogers and Sharon Burke.