One thing fascinating about this career is how flexible it truly is. Most people think of mineralogists as folks who teach in colleges and essentially create more mineralogists who will go out and teach. The practical sides of the career are not explored often enough.
And, yes, there are some practical jobs for mineralogists. Let's say you have an area that is blessed with a lot of bauxite. A mineralogist might be called in to test it and see if it is suitable for use in making aluminum. That mineralogist may keep his job with an aluminum plant in the area as he will be called on to test new veins of bauxite.
That's just one example of how a mineralogist can find private employment, but there are a lot of others.