The article offers information on the mineral, boron. Boron compounds, particularly borates, have more commercial applications than its elemental relative which is a metalloid. Making up the 90% of the borates that are used worldwide are colemanite, kernite, tincal, and ulexite. The main borate deposits are located in the Mojave Desert of the U.S., the Tethyan belt in southern Asia, and the Andean belt of South America. Underground and surface mining are being used in gathering boron compounds. INSETS: Fun facts;Boron production and consumption.