The Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining is a major UK engineering institution whose activities encompass the whole materials cycle, from exploration and extraction, through characterisation, processing, forming, finishing and application, to product recycling and land reuse. It exists to promote and develop all aspects of materials science and engineering, geology, mining and associated technologies, mineral and petroleum engineering and extraction metallurgy, as a leading authority in the worldwide materials and mining community. The Materials Information Service is a division of the Institute which has been giving advice to industry on selection and use of materials since 1988. This is now part of the Institute's Information Services which include technical enquiry and library services, an information help desk, regionally based advisors and related services. Companies can gain access to the Institute's information resources by joining the Industry Affiliate Scheme.