Minerals are solid substances comprising a combination of one or more elements that occur naturally. Minerals are mined for their economic and commercial value and are mainly categorized into metallic and industrial minerals (non-metallic minerals).
- Metallic minerals contain metals in their raw form, such as iron, copper, and gold, which can be extracted and refined for various uses.
- Industrial minerals are non-metallic minerals used in various industries for construction, manufacturing, and agriculture, including limestone, gypsum, and talc.
- The primary distinction between the two is their composition and usage: metallic minerals contain metals. They are used in metal production, while industrial minerals are non-metallic and have various industrial applications.
Metallic vs Industrial Minerals
The difference between metallic and industrial minerals is that in metallic minerals metals occur in the raw form, which can be further extracted for functional purposes. In contrast, industrial or non-metallic minerals are substances that lack the presence of metals in them.
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Metallic minerals are minerals that contain one or more than one metals. These occur in rare and naturally occurring concentrations as mineral deposits.
Industrial minerals, often called non-metallic substances, do not contain metals and are used in various industries to produce multiple products.
Metallic minerals are the excellent conductor of heat and electricity due to the presence of metals, whereas Industrial minerals are the poor conductor of heat and electricity.
Metallic minerals can be further classified into two more categories that are:
- Ferrous minerals- the metallic minerals which contain iron are called ferrous metallic minerals. Ex. Iron ore, manganese, nickel, etc.
- Non-ferrous minerals- the metallic minerals not containing iron are called non-ferrous minerals—Ex—aluminium, lead, copper, etc.
|Parameters of Comparison||Metallic Minerals||Industrial Minerals|
|Definition||Metallic minerals contain metal that can be further broken down into valuable substances.||Industrial minerals are also synonymous with non-metallic minerals because they do not contain metals and are used for industrial purposes.|
|Conductivity||Metallic minerals are good conductors of heat and electricity because of the presence of metals.||These are good insulators (do not conduct) heat and electricity because they lack metallic qualities.|
|Originated from||These minerals are usually found in igneous and metamorphic rock formations.||They are usually obtained from folded mountains and sedimentary rocks.|
|Malleability and ductility||Metallic minerals have high malleability and ductility due to their metallic properties.||Industrial minerals lack malleability and ductility, and they break down quickly.|
|Examples||Examples of metallic minerals are iron ore, copper, lead, aluminium, zinc, lead, gold, etc.||Examples of non-metallic minerals are limestone, clay, gravel, silica, sand, diatomite, etc.|
What are Metallic Minerals?
Metallic minerals are minerals that contain one or more than one kind of metal in the rare and concentrated forms of mineral deposits. These metals are extracted through various chemical processes to obtain the raw form of the metal as a single chemical compound.
They have a hard and shiny surface and are good conductors of heat and electricity. Metallic minerals are malleable and ductile; therefore can be moulded up into sheets and wires for various purposes.
Metallic minerals can be further classified into ferrous and non-ferrous metallic minerals. Ferrous minerals are those metals that contain iron in them.
For example, manganese and nickel. Non-ferrous minerals are those which do not contain iron in them.
For example, gold, platinum
Examples and Application: some examples of metallic minerals are silver, gold, aluminium, copper, manganese, zinc, etc.
- The complex and shiny surfaces of gold, silver, and platinum make them extensively useful for the jewellery industry.
- Copper is a great conductor of heat and electricity used in electric appliances.
- Properties such as malleability and ductility are used in making the aluminium in the sheets, which has multiple uses.
What are Industrial Minerals?
Industrial minerals, also called non-metallic minerals, have significant importance in the economic sector. They are usually mined for their economic value but are not fuels and do not contain metal.
They are used just based on their physical and chemical qualities.
These minerals are primarily used in the natural and the raw forms as additives and are obtained from the deposits of sedimentary rocks and young fold mountains.
Such materials lack metallic characteristics like good electric and thermal conductivity, lustre, rigour, and malleability; they are, however, essential for many industries.
Examples and Application: some examples of industrial minerals are silica, granite, gypsum, bentonite, talc, limestone, etc.
The non-metallic minerals are best known for producing cement, ceramic glass, paints, plastics, filtration, detergents, paper, construction, etc.
Main Differences Between Metallic and Industrial Minerals
- Metallic minerals are chemical compounds containing one or more than one metal, usually occurring in the raw form, whereas industrial minerals (non-metallic minerals) do not contain metals.
- Metallic minerals are good conductors of heat and electricity, whereas industrial minerals lack these qualities because they do not contain metals.
- Malleability and ductility are essential aspects of metallic minerals not found in Industrial minerals.
- Igneous and metamorphic rocks are essential to metallic minerals, whereas industrial minerals are obtained from sedimentary rocks.
- Examples of metallic minerals are copper, gold, aluminium, silver, zinc, etc.
- Examples of Industrial minerals are silica, gypsum, clay, diatomite, granite, etc.
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Piyush Yadav has spent the past 25 years working as a physicist in the local community. He is a physicist passionate about making science more accessible to our readers. He holds a BSc in Natural Sciences and Post Graduate Diploma in Environmental Science. You can read more about him on his bio page.