Types of Minerals


Various types of minerals are defined as naturally occurring inorganic substances found in the solid form. The earth crust consists of different kinds of minerals such as; sand, coal, ore, or metal, as well as oil. Those consist of a well-defined chemical structure, crystalline structure, as well as formula.

Overview of Minerals

Minerals are substances that occur naturally on the surface of the earth. Those are typically solid in nature as well as inorganic substances. The minerals are formed through the geographical process and referred to as elements or chemical compounds. The nature of the minerals is normally crystalline and the process of geography helps in forming this crystalline form.

Figure 1: Minerals on the Earth

Minerals have a definite chemical composition as well as an ordered atomic arrangement. It looks like a bit of a mouthful but when it is broken down, it becomes simpler. These are called naturally occurring substances having an inorganic nature. It also has atomic structure, composition, and physical as well as chemical properties. These are extracted from the earth through the process of pumping, quarrying, or mining.

Minerals are seen as the most important part of everyday life and most of the earth is made through this substance. It can be presented as naturally occurring substances and have a crystalline structure. Some other organic materials are seen on the crust of the earth and those are diamond, gold, as well as silver.

Types of Minerals

The minerals are mainly divided based on their chemistry as well as the form of crystal. Those are classified into two main parts such as; metallic and non-metallic. The classified minerals are described below −

Figure 2: Types of minerals

Metallic Minerals

The minerals which metallic in nature have lustre appearance and these metals are seen in their chemical composition. These are called the main source of metals and extracted from mining. Some examples of these factors are manganese, iron ore, and bauxite. These are further divided into two categories such as; ferrous and non-ferrous metallic minerals. The presence of iron within the minerals is known as ferrous minerals.

Non-metallic Minerals

These kinds of minerals either present a non-metallic, lustre or shine in appearance. Those are called extractable metals and absent with the chemical composition. Some examples of those kinds of minerals include limestone, gypsum, and mica.

These non-metallic minerals consist of some features are as follows −

  • The metal of iron is produced from the iron ore and it does not exist in its pure form. It is extracted from the ore of iron by removing impurities.

  • The ore of bauxite is seen in the rocks that are deeply weathered. The volcanic rocks sometimes contain deposits of bauxite in some places.

  • Gold is considered as the most precious as well as the oldest element.

  • The ore of manganese is referred to as a silvery brittle or grey-white metallic ore found in many places.

Examples and Uses of Minerals

Some minerals are used in daily life and it improves the quality of everyday life. The minerals are gold, hematite, coal, as well as diamond. Coal is considered as a black substance which is hard. This substance mostly contains carbon and used as fossils fuel. In former times, it was used for running steam engines but, in recent times, it is used for producing electricity.

Gold is called a metallic mineral and found in the form of an element or an alloy with mercury or silver. It is mostly used as jewellery and stored as a value of currency. Hematite is referred to as an iron oxide bears the formula $\mathrm{Fe_2O_3}$. Diamond is considered tome one of the forms of carbon and called one of the hardest substances found in nature. These are used as ornaments and some of them are used as cutters in the field of industries.

Difference between Metallic and Non-metallic Minerals

Metallic MineralsNon-metallic Minerals
These types of minerals have metals in their chemical composition.The minerals do not have metals in their chemical composition.
These contain a shiny appearance.These do not look shiny.
These are extracted from the igneous rocks.The minerals are derived from the sedimentary rocks.
These have a ductile nature.These are not ductile in nature.
These are malleable in nature.These are non-malleable.

Table 1: Difference between metallic and non-metallic minerals


Minerals are called the most usable substances in everyday life and formed by the geological processes. These are inorganic as well as solid in nature and called naturally occurring substances. The minerals are consisted of a crystalline structure and some examples are gold, diamond, coal, as well as rock salt. These are called the solid substances found in nature but these are not alive.


Q1.What is the importance of minerals for humans?

Ans. The minerals, as well as vitamins, are important for the development of the body. Those help in keeping the human body fit as well as healthy and called the most useful source that helps in producing hormones.

Q2. What are the sources of minerals?

Ans. Some elements are responsible for making the minerals are iron, oxygen, calcium, copper, sodium, silicon, potassium, and many more. Some important minerals are quartz, feldspar, bauxite, cobalt, talc and pyrite.

Q3. What is the structure of minerals?

Ans. The minerals have seen an inorganic substance and found in the form of crystal as well as clear solid. It is produced through natural processes and also consists of a distinct chemical composition. These are identified through their crystalline structure, hardness, streaking and cleavage.

Updated on: 17-Apr-2023


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