Minerals

MINERALS

A mineral is a compound of two or more elements bound together. It is a naturally occurring organic and inorganic substance with definite chemical composition and physical properties. But sometimes single mineral elements are also found like gold, silver, and copper. There are a limited number of elements on the earth. But these elements form different combinations of chemical bonds to form at least 2000 kinds of minerals. The minerals can be classified into two major groups on the basis of substances i.e., organic and inorganic substances

ORGANIC SUBSTANCES- These minerals are formed due to the decomposition of organic matter like plants and animals. For example, coal, petroleum, and natural gas are organic minerals found in solid, liquid, and gaseous forms respectively.

INORGANIC SUBSTANCES- These minerals are formed by the solidification of magma and lava. Thus, the basic source of these types of minerals is magma in the interior of the earth.

It can also be divided into two groups on the basis of the occurrence of the metallic component-

METALLIC MINERALS- These types of minerals contain metal content in them. On that basis, it can be further subdivided into three groups.

  • Ferrous metal- Iron is the main component of ferrous metal. It can be combined with other metals to form new metals. For example, mixing iron and other metals to form steel.
  • Non-ferrous metal- These metals do not contain iron in them. For example, copper, tin, aluminium, zinc, lead, etc.
  • Precious metals- gold, silver, platinum, etc.

NON-METALLIC MINERALS- Minerals that do not contain metals in them. For example, nitrate, sulphur, phosphates, etc.

There are a few commonly occurring minerals groups known as major rock-forming minerals as follows-

S. NO.

MAJOR MINERALS

ELEMENTS

COLOR

USAGE

OTHER INFORMATION

1.

FELDSPAR

silicon, oxygen, sodium, potassium, calcium, and aluminium

light cream to salmon pink

Ceramic and glass

Half of the earth’s crust is composed of feldspar.

2.

QUARTZ

silica

white or colourless

Radio and radar

It is the most important component of sand and granite.

3.

PYROXENE

calcium, aluminium, magnesium, iron, and silica

green or black

-

It is found in meteorites and 10% of the earth’s crust is formed from pyroxene

4.

AMPHIBOLE

aluminium, calcium, silica, iron, magnesium

green or black

Asbestos industry

It forms 7% of the earth’s crust.

5.

MICA

Potassium, aluminium, magnesium, iron, and silica

It can be found in many colours.

Electrical instruments

It forms 4% of the earth’s crust, found in igneous and metamorphic rock.

6.

OLIVINE

Magnesium, iron, and silica

Greenish crystal

Jewellery

it can be commonly found in basaltic rocks.