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Metallic Minerals and Non-Metallic Minerals

Minerals are found under the Earth in varying conditions in their natural state. Their properties depend upon different geological conditions. They have different compositions and possess different crystalline structures. Minerals can be classified into two types – metallic and non-metallic minerals.

Non-metallic Minerals

Non-metallic minerals do not contain any metallic compound as their constituent. They are used in various industries to make coatings and insulating materials. In addition, they are used in cement production and fertilizer manufacturing. They are formed by sedimentary rocks, formed by the aggregation of wide varieties of rock particles, minerals and remains of organisms.

Examples of non-metallic minerals – salt, phosphate, limestone, mica, dolomite, coal, gypsum, manganese, granite, etc.

Metallic Minerals

Minerals containing one or more forms of metals in a definite composition are known as metallic minerals. They occur as mineral deposits in natural form and are a good conductor of heat and electricity. They are ductile and malleable, i.e. they can be drawn into wires and can be broken into sheets, respectively. They are formed by continuous heating and cooling of igneous rocks and the solidification of magma or lava.

They are complex and have a lustrous surface. Due to this property, they can be used to make pieces of jewellery. In addition, they are used for various industrial purposes like making semiconductors, chips, etc.

Examples of metallic minerals – iron, gold, copper, manganese, bauxite, etc. Silicon, obtained from quartz, is used in the computer industry, aluminium made from bauxite is used in the bottling and automobile industry.

Types of metallic minerals

1. Ferrous minerals: Iron-containing metallic minerals are called ferrous minerals. Ferrous minerals constitute about 75% of the minerals produced by the metal industries. They possess magnetic properties and are good conductors of heat and electricity. Some of the common ferrous minerals are nickel, manganese, chromite, iron ore, etc.

2. Non-Ferrous Minerals: Minerals that do not contain any metal, specifically iron or ore, are known as non-ferrous minerals. They do not have any magnetic properties, are poor conductors of heat and electricity, and are more resistant to corrosion and external damages.

Difference between metallic and non-metallic minerals

Metallic minerals

Non-metallic minerals

Minerals containing one or more metallic elements.

Minerals that do not contain metallic elements.

Have a hard and shiny surface.

They do not have a shiny surface and are not as hard as metallic minerals.

Mostly found in igneous and metamorphic rocks.

Mostly found in sedimentary rocks.

They are ductile and malleable, can be beaten into sheets and stretched to produce wires.

They are not ductile and malleable, so they break into pieces when hit hard.

Good conductor of heat and electricity.

Poor conductor of heat and electricity.

They can be melted to produce new products.

They do produce new products on melting.

They are less abundant than non-metallic minerals.

They are more abundant than metallic minerals.

Examples: Copper, tin, iron, manganese, gold etc.

Examples: Carbon, gypsum, potash, precious stones, boron, sulphur, mica, quartz, dolomite, diamond etc.

FAQs

1. What are metallic minerals?

Minerals containing one or more forms of metals in a definite composition are known as metallic minerals. They occur as mineral deposits in natural form and are a good conductor of heat and electricity. They are ductile and malleable—examples: Copper, tin, iron, manganese, gold etc.

2. What are non-metallic minerals?

Non-metallic minerals do not contain any metallic compound as their constituent. They are used in various industries to make coatings and insulating materials—examples: Carbon, gypsum, potash, precious stones, boron, sulphur, mica, etc.

3. List some examples of metallic minerals.

Some minerals do not contain metallic compounds but still possess metallic properties like a good conductor, lustre etc. These compounds are also listed under metallic minerals, like graphite and mercury. Other common examples of metallic minerals are gold, silver, copper, iron, etc.

4. What are metallic elements?

Metallic elements are commonly known as short metals. This is because they are good conductors of heat and electricity. In addition, they have properties like ductility and malleability. They are formed by cooling hot metals by controlling temperatures not to become brittle and remain ductile. Most metals are solid at room temperatures, except mercury. They are primarily complex and stiff, except sodium.

5. What is the most metallic element?

Francium is the most metallic component. Francium is an artificial element, except for its one isotope, and all isotopes are so radioactive that they almost immediately decay into another. The natural element with the highest metallic character is caesium, located just above francium on the periodic table.

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