All types of minerals played a significant role in the formation of human civilization. The most common items everyone utilizes in their daily life came from minerals. For this reason, from the beginning of human civilization mankind tried to harness it from mother earth. Most of the minerals we found on the ground remain in the ore. It requires lots of chemical processing before use. These minerals can be divided into different categories. Metallic minerals are one such type of minerals that humans excavate for metal productions. Let’s learn how metallic minerals work and what are the advantages and disadvantages associated with them.
- Metallic minerals are naturally occurring minerals that have a high content of metals in them.
- These minerals are used for various purposes, such as construction, jewellery making, and as a source of energy.
- Some examples of metallic minerals include gold, silver, copper, iron, and zinc.
Source for Metallic Minerals
The primary properties of metallic minerals are metal. Most of these minerals can be found on the earth’s crust. Igneous and metamorphic rocks are mostly holding these metallic minerals. Most metallic elements originate in the center of the earth and they come on the surface with lava or magma. Later they cooled down and become metallic mineral deposits on the earth’s crust. These minerals deposits remain couple hundred feet beneath the earth’s surface. Generally, these mineral deposits are called mines and require industrial operation for excavation. These minerals are classified into two types. These are ferrous minerals and non-ferrous minerals.
Generally, 75% of metallic minerals are ferrous minerals like iron, nickel, manganese, etc. These metallic minerals have magnetic properties and get oxidize easily. On the other hand, non-ferrous minerals do not react to a magnetic field and don’t get oxidize easily. Some examples of non-ferrous minerals are gold, silver, copper, etc. Most metallic minerals are hard and contain shiny properties. These minerals are also malleable and have ductile properties. They can also carry heat and electricity easily. When forged under the right condition the metallic minerals become hard metal, which can take high load stress.
Advantages of Metallic Minerals
On this planet, metallic minerals are the only source of metal. Metals extracted from metallic minerals are used in different industries and household items. Expensive metals like gold, silver, and platinum are used to make jewelry; where inexpensive metals are used like iron, copper, and aluminum are used in various industries. Some metals conduct heat and electricity better than others. These metals are used in electric and electronic devices. Modern human civilization would have been impossible without the substantial contribution of metallic minerals. For this reason, it is considered the foundation of civilization.
Disadvantages of Metallic Minerals
Metallic minerals are quite scarce on the earth’s surface. For this reason, it requires industrial mining operations for mineral extraction from the ground. Most of these mining operations cause environmental degradation. Besides mining, the metal extraction processes out of these minerals take lots of energy and sometimes require harmful chemicals.
As a result, these metal extraction process increases pollution and other environmental degradation. Relentless mining operations can also damage the natural beauty of the area and permanently scar the surroundings. Metallic minerals are a very precious resource. For this reason, many countries fought with each other to have this resource.
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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.