What is it and where is it formed? Graphite is one of the two kinds of carbon. The other one is diamond which is a lot harder than graphite. The difference between the two is how the atoms are arranged. Diamonds that are close to the surface of the Earth are slowly changing into graphite. Graphite is caused by the changes in igneous and metamorphic rocks. It is formed when plants, rocks, and organic things in limestone areas change over time.

How and where is it mined? Graphite is mined using underground mining and surface quarrying. The way it is mined depends on how deep into the Earth the graphite is. It is mined in: China, Brazil, Canada, Malagasy, Norway, Ukraine, Nigeria and Zimbabwe.

What is it used for? Graphite is used for the lead in pencils, to make steel stronger, and as a lubricant. Clay + water + graphite = the lead in pencils.