Difference Between Metallic and Non-metallic Minerals (With Table)

Metallic vs Non-metallic Minerals

The difference between Metallic and Non-metallic Minerals is that metallic minerals can be used to make the new products by melting but non-metallic cannot produce new products by melting. Metallic minerals are hard, shiny, glossy and unbreakable in comparison with non-metallic minerals

Examples for metallic minerals are bauxite, iron, and tin, examples for non-metallic minerals are salt, marble, and coal.

Comparison Table Between Metallic and Non-metallic Minerals

Parameter of ComparisonMetallic MineralsNon-Metallic Minerals
DensityThey have a high DensityThey have a low density
SonorousThey produce sound when hitDon’t produce sound when hit
Reaction with waterThey form metal hydroxide and release H2 gasHas no reaction to water
Reaction with H2 gasForm Metal HydridesThey only form hydrides
Reaction to OxygenThey form Metal OxidesThey form Acidic Oxides
MalleabilityCan be made into sheetsCan’t be made into sheets
OriginIgneous and Metamorphic rocksSedimentary Rocks
Definition FormHave metallic minerals in their raw formHave no metallic minerals in raw form
ElectronegativityLow ElectronegativityHigh Electronegativity
Electricity ConductionGood Heat and Electricity conductorPoor Conductor of Heat and Electricity they insulate more
Creation of New ProductsObtain new products when they are melted downNo new products are gotten from melting them down
Surface Texture and lookThe shiny and hard outer surfaceDull surface
Melting PointsHigh Melting pointsVery low melting points
DuctilityCan be drawn into wire stripCan’t be drawn into wire strips
Natural stateOnly Solid in room temperatureExist in all states at room temperature

What is the Metallic Mineral?

Metallic Minerals in general terms are those minerals that contain metallic elements in them. These metallic elements may be one or more. These minerals can form new products when processed. A good example of such minerals can be aluminum that is formed from its ore called bauxite.

Metallic minerals are further divided into two groups the Ferrous minerals and the non-Ferrous minerals.

  1. The Ferrous minerals are the type of minerals that have an iron element and content in them, a good example of a metallic mineral that is Ferrous is iron ore.
  2. Non-Ferrous minerals are those types of minerals that have no ironic element in them. They contain some different forms of metals other than iron in them like Silver, Copper, and Gold.

Common properties include the following:

  1. Good heat and electricity conductors
  2. Easily lose electrons.
  3. Solid at room temperature.
  4. Metallic components are present in them.
  5. They can be beaten and easily turned into sheets and wires.
  6. Have a metallic shiny surface.

What is Non-Metallic Mineral?

The most accurate definition of a non-metal is usually not by what it is but is buy what it’s not. A Non-Metallic mineral is a mineral that has no traces of metallic elements in them. A common example of such is salt.

In the periodic table, they are separated by a line that cuts across diagonally and is mainly made up of the halogens and non-noble gases which have an ability to easily gain electrons.

The main use of these non-metallic minerals is in the manufacturing industries to help mainly in the production of other products like fertilizers.

Some common properties include the following;

  1. No metallic components in them
  2. Solid and brittle in nature
  3. Lower melting and boiling points
  4. Poor Conductivity of heat and electricity
  5. Easily gain electrons
  6. Dull but might be shiny in color
  7. Easily gain electrons

Main Differences Between Metallic Minerals and Non-Metallic Minerals

  1. From the main explanation, metallic minerals are those minerals that have metallic elements in their original main form while non-metallic minerals are those minerals that have no metallic elements or contents in their original form.
  2. Upon reaction with oxygen Metallic mineral form Metal Oxide while Non-Metallic result in Acidic Oxides.
  3. Metallic minerals conduct electricity and heat well thus making them good conductors, for example, copper. While non-metallic minerals don’t conduct heat or electricity but rather insulate it.
  4. Metallic materials have a hard and shiny surface this makes them lustrous while non-metallic materials don’t have this property but are rather dull with a less hard surface making them non-lustrous.
  5. When melted, metallic minerals form new products unlike the non-metallic materials that remain the same with no formation of new products.
  6. Metallic minerals can easy be hammered in sheets and drawn into tiny strips of wires. On the other hand, non-metallic materials cannot be drawn into sheets and strip of wires.
  7. The level of malleability and ductility is high in metallic minerals while it is almost zero in non-metallic minerals.
  8. Non-metallic minerals are mostly found in sedimentary rocks while the metallic minerals are mainly found in the igneous and metamorphic rocks.
  9. Metallic minerals have 1-3 electrons while the non-metallic minerals have a range of 4-8 electrons in the outer most shell of the energy level.
  10. Metallic minerals are very good non-reducing agents because they easily give out electrons, Non-metallic minerals, on the other hand, are oxidizing agents because they tend to gain more electrons.
  11. The natural state of Metallic mineral is mainly solid while the non-metallic minerals take a form of either being solid, liquid or gases at room temperature.
  12. Metallic minerals corrode easily (get rust), unlike the non-Metallic minerals that don’t corrode easily.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) About Metallic and Non-metallic Minerals

What are the different types of Metallic Minerals?

Metallic minerals can be divided into 3 major categories that are:

  1. Ferrous: Ferrous minerals are ores that contain iron as a major component. Iron and manganese ores are the 2 major examples of ferrous minerals. The metals that are extracted from these types of ores are manganese, iron, cobalt, nickel, and chromate.
  2. Nonferrous: Nonferrous minerals are the ones that do not contain iron. Common minerals that are non-ferrous in nature are zinc, copper, bauxite, titanium, aluminum, brass, tin, and lead.
  3. Precious: The precious metallic minerals primarily include metal ores of platinum, gold, and silver. Their availability is quite limited compared to ferrous and nonferrous minerals.

Where Metallic Minerals are found?

Metallic minerals are generally found in large plateaus made of metamorphic and igneous rock structures. These rock formations are a result of extreme heat, pressure, and volcanic eruptions.

Even though metallic minerals can also be found in other types of rock formations the concentration of metallic elements is negligibly low and they cannot be mined for economic purposes.

What are the 2 types of Mineral deposits?

Mineral deposits can be primarily classified into 2 types that are:

  1. Metallic Deposits – This includes a wide range of metallic minerals like iron, copper, zinc, aluminum, gold, silver, and nickel.
  2. Non-Metallic Deposits – Non-metallic deposits are minerals like gypsum, uranium, asphalt, rock salt, carbon, and diamond.

Where are Non-Metallic Minerals found?

Non-metallic minerals are found in sedimentary rock formations that are primarily made of various types of organic particles. These natural elements that remain compressed for thousands of years get transformed into various types of mineral compounds.

Limestone and shale are 2 common examples of non-metallic mineral deposits found in sedimentary rock structures.

Is salt a Mineral Resource?

Yes, salt is a natural mineral resource found in chemical sedimentary rocks. These rocks are made up of a chemical compound called sodium chloride and they are formed as a result of saline water evaporating from oceans and lakes.

Salt in its mineral form is known as halite and its crystals are commonly called rock salt.


Minerals both metallic and non-metallic have many different uses, this is mainly a result of the different physical and chemical properties that they exhibit as explained above. They are both essential in our day to day life depending on how we would use them.

All of the minerals are critical to us depending on their availability and magnitude of use. The chemical and physical properties that they exhibit will determine the use and demand.

Due to the different types of reactions that are experienced when different chemicals are introduced to the metals, it is advised that there should be a restriction to the quantity that one has to buy or purchase. This is done in order to limit the chances of these minerals falling into the wrong hands.


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