Metallic Minerals – Definition, Types, Ores, Examples
Minerals are inorganic compounds found naturally in the soil as well as components in food required for healthy living. They feature an organized internal structure, crystalline formations, and distinct chemical compositions. There are around 2,000 minerals are known elements on Earth, yet this figure is debatable since some believe there are more, while others believe there may be fewer owing to research concerns.
Types of Minerals
The types of minerals are discussed with the help of a flow chart diagram below:
Metallic minerals are the main sources of metals and provide a strong base for the development of the metallurgical industry. They exhibit a metallic shine or lustre in their appearance. Metallic minerals are further classified into two types:
- Ferrous Minerals
- Non-Ferrous Minerals
Ferrous minerals are those minerals that exhibit magnetic characteristics due to the presence of iron in the form of hydroxides, carbonates, or sulphides. These minerals are critical for the growth of a country’s metallurgical industry. Hematite, magnetite, manganese, and other ferrous minerals are examples.
India exports a significant amount of ferrous minerals. These minerals provide a solid foundation for the growth of metallurgical enterprises. These minerals account for around three-fourths of the overall value of metallic mineral output. Following are some of the Ferrous Minerals:
They are rocks and minerals that are commercially mined for metallic iron. Iron oxides in the ores in multitude, which range in colour from dark grey to brilliant yellow to deep purple to rusty red. Magnetite, hematite, goethite, limonite, and siderite are all examples of iron minerals. “Natural ore” or “straight shipping ore” refers to ore that has a high percentage of hematite or magnetite (more than roughly 60% iron) and may be fed directly into blast furnaces to produce iron.
Iron ore as raw material is required to manufacture pig iron, key raw materials used to make steel—steel accounts for 98 per cent of all mined iron ore.
India’s Iron Ore Belts
The major major iron ore belts are:
- Odisha – Jharkhand Belt: Badampahar mines in the Mayurbhanj and Kendujhar districts of Odisha contain high-grade hematite ore. Hematite iron ore is mined at Gua and Noamundi in the neighboring Singhbhum district of Jharkhand. This belt is India’s biggest producer of iron ore, accounting for 52 percent of total production in 2016-2017. Jharkhand’s Palamau and Singhbhum districts are major hematite iron ore producers.
- Durg-Bastar-Chandrapur Belt: Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra are the states that make up the Belt. This belt is noted for its high-grade hematite, which can be found in the Bailadila range of hills in Chhattisgarh’s Bastar district. There are 14 occurrences of ultra high grade hematite iron ore in the range of hills. It possesses the finest physical qualities required for steel production. The Vishakhapatnam port is mostly used to export to Japan and South Korea.
- Ballari – Chitradurga – Chikkamagaluru – Takakura Belt: Karnataka has significant iron ore deposits. The Kudremukh mines in Karnataka’s western Ghats are a 100 percent export operation. The Kudremukh deposits are known to be among the world’s biggest. The ore is delivered as a slurry to a port near Mangalore through a pipeline.
- Maharashtra – Goa Belt: The state of Goa and the Maharashtra district of Ratnagiri are included in this belt, however the ore in this belt is not of great quality, but it is efficiently utilised. The port of Marmagao is used to export iron ore.
The oxides pyrolusite, romanechite, manganite, and hausmannite, as well as the carbonate mineral rhodochrosite, are the most significant manganese ores. The oxides are usually found with rhodizite and braunite, both silicate ores.
Only ores with a manganese content of more than 35% are deemed economically viable. When iron ore (an iron and oxygen combination) is transformed into iron, manganese eliminates oxygen and Sulphur. It’s also an important alloy for converting iron to steel. It makes steel less brittle and offers it more strength as an alloy.
Steel and ferro-manganese alloys are made from this metal. In order to make one tonne of steel, around 10% manganese is used. Insecticides, bleaching powder, and paints are among the products made from them.
In 2016-2017, Madhya Pradesh has the highest proportion of manganese output in India, accounting for 27% .
Non-ferrous metals are alloys or metals that are free of iron. Except for iron (Fe), which is sometimes known as ferrite after the Latin word Ferrum, which means “iron,” other non-ferrous elements are non-ferrous. Nonferrous metals are more expensive than ferrous metals, but they have desired features such as lightweight (aluminium), high conductivity (copper), non-magnetic properties, and corrosion resistance (zinc). Bauxite, which is used as a flux in blast furnaces, is an example of a non-ferrous mineral utilised in the iron and steel industry.
Ferrous alloys may also be made using non-ferrous metals such as chromite, pyrolusite, and wolframite. Many non-ferrous metals, on the other hand, have low melting points, rendering them unsuitable for high-temperature applications. Following are some of the non-ferrous minerals:
Copper is commercially produced primarily by smelting or leaching, with electrodeposition from sulphide solutions commonly following. The bulk of copper produced is used in the electrical industry; the rest is blended with other metals to make alloys. (As an electroplated coating, it’s also important in terms of technology.) Brasses (copper and zinc), bronzes (copper and tin), and nickel silvers are all important series of alloys in which copper is a major component (copper, zinc, and nickel, no silver).
The Khetri mines in Rajasthan, the Balaghat mines in Madhya Pradesh, and the Singhbhum area of Jharkhand are the leading copper producers in India.
Surface weathering of clay rocks in the tropical zone produces bauxite, which is composed of aluminium oxide. It contains 15–25 per cent aluminium and is the sole ore utilised for commercial aluminium extraction. Bauxite is found near the surface, frequently combined with clay minerals, iron oxide, and titanium dioxide. Bauxite is the principal source of aluminium needed to create building cement.
Aluminium is utilised in a variety of applications, including transportation, consumer durables, packaging, electrical, mechanical equipment, refractory bricks, and abrasives. Aluminium is recognized for its lightness and strength. It is frequently utilised in the production of cutlery, electrical products, and other items.
The Amarkantak plateau, Maikal hills, and the Bilaspur-Katni plateau region are the key bauxite deposit areas in Madhya Pradesh. Odisha is India’s largest bauxite producer, accounting for 49% of the country’s total.
FAQs on Metallic Minerals
Question 1: What are Metallic Minerals?
Metallic minerals refer to those minerals which contain one or more metallic elements.
Question 2: Where are the ores of metallic minerals generally located?
Ores of metallic minerals are located generally in igneous rocks and metamorphic rocks.
Question 3: What is the difference between metallic and nonmetallic minerals?
Metallic minerals are those minerals in which metallic elements are present in their raw forms. Non-metallic minerals do not contain any substance in them.
Question 4: In which type of rocks non-metallic minerals are found?
Non-metallic minerals are mostly found in young fold mountains and sedimentary rocks.
Question 5: Where are non-metallic minerals mostly found in India?
The state in which most of the non-metallic minerals are found in India is Rajasthan.
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