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Classification of Minerals

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Minerals refer to naturally occurring homogeneous solids with a given chemical composition and a highly ordered atomic arrangement, which are mostly formed by inorganic processes. They are defined as naturally occurring substances with a crystalline structure.

Types of Minerals


Examples of Minerals

Minerals are solid substances which are found in nature. Atoms which make up minerals are fitted together to form a crystal. Chemical composition that is the kinds of atoms in any given crystal is the same for every crystal of the same kind. Gold, diamond, rock salt and graphite used to make lead in pencils are examples of minerals.

Each mineral is different but many times minerals do look like one another. Streak test, colour, lustre, cleavage and fracture are ways of identifying minerals.

Different Types of Minerals

Minerals are classified into two types: Metallic and Non- Metallic.

Types of Minerals


Metallic minerals

These are minerals that contain one or more metals. Iron, copper, gold, bauxite, and manganese are examples of metallic minerals that occur as mineral deposits and are great conductors of heat and electricity. They are malleable and ductile, allowing them to be easily hammered into thin sheets or stretched into wires to form new things.

Metallic minerals


They are most commonly found in igneous rocks formed as a result of the cooling and solidification of lava or magma. Certain metallic minerals can be used as gems in jewellery because they are frequently hard and have a dazzling surface. They are also employed in a range of industries for various reasons, such as silicon, which is obtained from quartz and is widely used in the computer industry, and aluminium, which is obtained from bauxite, which is used in the automobile and bottling industries.  It is extremely precious since we receive the metal in its purest form.

There are two types of metallic minerals:

  •  Ferrous Minerals  
  •  Non-Ferrous Minerals 

Ferrous Minerals 

Ferrous minerals are those that have magnetic properties because of the presence of iron in the form of hydroxides, carbonates, or sulphides. These minerals are essential for a country’s metallurgical sector to thrive. Examples include hematite, magnetite, manganese, and other ferrous minerals. India exports a large number of ferrous minerals. These minerals provide a firm foundation for the expansion of metallurgical businesses. These minerals account for almost three-fourths of the total metallic mineral output value. 

Iron Ore

They are rocks and minerals that are mined for metallic iron on a commercial scale. Iron oxides are abundant in ores, ranging in hue from dark grey to bright yellow to deep purple to rusty red. Iron minerals include magnetite, hematite, goethite, limonite, and siderite. Natural ore, often known as “straight shipping ore,” is ore that has a high concentration of hematite or magnetite (greater than about 60% iron) and may be fed directly into blast furnaces to create iron. Iron ore is needed as a raw material to generate pig iron, which is a primary raw material used to make steel—steel accounts for 98 percent of all mined iron ore. 


The most important manganese ores are the oxides pyrolusite,romanechite,manganite, and hausmannite, as well as the carbonate mineral rhodochrosite. The oxides are commonly found with silicate ores such as rhodizite and braunite. Only ores with a manganese concentration more than 35% are considered economically feasible. Manganese removes oxygen and Sulphur during the transformation of iron ore (an iron and oxygen combination) into iron. It’s also a crucial alloy in the conversion of iron to steel. It makes steel less brittle and strengthens it as an alloy. It is used to make insecticides, bleaching powder, and paints, among other things. Madhya Pradesh has the biggest share of manganese output in India in 2016-2017, accounting for 27 percent. 

Non-Ferrous Minerals

Non-ferrous metals are alloys or metals that do not include iron. Other non-ferrous elements are non-ferrous, with the exception of iron (Fe), which is frequently referred to as ferrite after the Latin word Ferrum, which means “iron.” Nonferrous metals are more expensive than ferrous metals, but they have desirable attributes including lightweight (aluminium), high conductivity (copper), nonmagnetic properties, and corrosion resistance (zinc). 

A non-ferrous material utilised in the iron and steel industry is bauxite, which is used as a flux in blast furnaces. Nonferrous metals such as chromite, pyrolusite, and wolframite can also be used to make ferrous alloys. Many nonferrous metals, on the other hand, have low melting points and are therefore unsuitable for high-temperature applications. 


Copper is primarily produced commercially by smelting or leaching, with electrodeposition from sulphides solutions frequently following. The majority of the copper produced is utilised in the electrical sector; the remainder is combined with other metals to form alloys. Brasses (copper and zinc), bronzes (copper and tin), and nickel silvers are all key alloy series in which copper plays a significant role (copper, zinc, and nickel, no silver).The main copper producers in India include the Khetri mines in Rajasthan, the Balaghat mines in Madhya Pradesh, and the Singhbhum region of Jharkhand. 


In the tropical zone, surface weathering of clay rocks creates bauxite, which is made of aluminium oxide. It is the only ore used for commercial aluminium extraction and contains 15–25 percent aluminium. Bauxite is commonly found at the surface, where it is mixed with clay minerals, iron oxide, and titanium dioxide. Bauxite is the primary source of aluminium used in the production of building cement. Aluminium is used in a wide range of applications, including transportation, consumer durables, packaging, electrical, mechanical, and refractory bricks, as well as abrasives. Aluminium is well-known for its low weight and strength. It is commonly used in the manufacture of cutlery, electrical devices, and other items. Madhya Pradesh’s main bauxite deposit locations include the Amarkantak plateau, the Maikal hills, and the Bilaspur-Katni plateau region. Odisha is India’s largest bauxite producer, accounting for 49 percent of total production. 

Non-Metallic Minerals 

Non-metallic minerals include limestone, mica, coal, gypsum, dolomite, phosphate, salt, manganese, granite, and others. Non-Metallic are used in a variety of industries to produce a wide range of commodities. They are most typically found in sedimentary rocks, which form due to the aggregation of various components such as minerals, biological remains, rock particles, and so on.

Non-Metallic Minerals Map


Non-metals are minerals (non-metallic minerals) that are rarely utilised as raw materials in the extraction of metals. Non-metals, which are present in a broad variety of minerals, are commercially significant. Metallic minerals have no lustre or glimmer. Minerals that are not metallic are good electrical and thermal insulators. 


Mica is found in the form of plates or leaves that may be separated into thin sheets. Because of its dielectric strength, low power loss factor, insulating qualities, and resistance to high voltage, it is employed in the electrical and electronics sectors. Mica comes in a variety of colours, including clear, black,do not green, red, yellow, and brown. Its deposits are mostly found in the Chota Nagpur plateau’s northern border.

Jharkhand’s Koderma-Gaya-Hazaribagh belt is the largest producer of mica. Ajmer (Rajasthan) and Nellore (Andhra Pradesh) are two other Mica-producing states. 


Limestone is a rock mineral that may be found in sedimentary rocks. It’s made up of calcium carbonates or calcium and magnesium carbonates.  Limestone is used to process iron ore in steel companies’ blast furnaces and is the primary raw material used in cement production. Rajasthan has the highest proportion of limestone production in India, accounting for 21% in 2016-2017. 

Difference Between Metallic and Non-Metallic Minerals

Metallic Minerals Non-Metallic Minerals
These type of minerals contain metals in chemical composition. These types of minerals donot contain metals in their chemical composition,
They mostly have a shiny appearance. They do not have shiny appearances.
They are found in igneous and metamorphic rocks. They are mostly found in sedimentary rocks.
Metals can be obtained by melting these metallic minerals. Metals cannot be obtained by melting them.
They are ductile. They are not brittle or ductile.
They are malleable. They are not malleable.
They are good conductors of heat and electricity. They are poor conductors of heat and electricity.

FAQs on Classification of Minerals

Question 1: What are minerals?


Minerals refer to naturally occurring substance such as coal, salt etc, especially one that is found In the ground. Some minerals are also present in food and drink and are very important for good health.

Question 2: What are the uses of minerals?


Minerals are used for a wide range of applications related to construction, manufacturing, agriculture and energy supply.

Question 3: Which method of conservation of minerals is correct?


Some important methods of mineral conservation include reduce wastage in the process of mining, recycling of metals like using scrap metals and use of alternative renewable substitutes.

Question 4: In which horizon of soil minerals are found?


In horizon B of the soil, minerals are found, which are not rich in humus but in minerals.

Question 5: What is the distinction between rocks and minerals?


Rocks  Minerals
Rock is a naturally occurring mineral aggregate. Minerals are naturally occurring homogeneous substances having a clear interior structure.
Rocks lack a distinct chemical composition. Minerals have a distinct chemical composition.
Some of the most common types of rocks include basalt, granite, sandstone, slate, and quartz.  Some minerals found on Earth include iron, silicon, magnesium, nickel, and calcium. 

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Last Updated : 24 Feb, 2023
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