What are Metallic Minerals? | Definition, Source, Advantages vs Disadvantages

All types of minerals played a significant role in the formation of human civilization. The most common items everyone utilizes in their daily life are 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 a mineral that humans excavate for metal production. Let’s learn how metallic minerals work and what are the advantages and disadvantages associated with them.

Key Takeaways

  1. Metallic minerals are naturally occurring minerals that have a high content of metals in them.
  2. These minerals are used for various purposes, such as construction, jewellery making, and as a source of energy.
  3. Some examples of metallic minerals include gold, silver, copper, iron, and zinc.
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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 earth’s centre and come on the surface with lava or magma. Later they cooled down and became metallic mineral deposits on the earth’s crust. These mineral 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, like iron, nickel, manganese, etc. These metallic minerals have magnetic properties and get oxidised 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 metals, 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 jewellery; inexpensive metals like iron, copper, and aluminium 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 area’s natural beauty 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.

References
  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0019103567900024
  2. https://pubs.geoscienceworld.org/segweb/economicgeology/article-pdf/24/4/412/3475904/412.pdf

Last Updated : 11 June, 2023

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