Science

Difference Between Metallic Minerals and Non-Metallic Minerals

Main difference

Before differentiating between both types of minerals, it is convenient to know the minerals themselves, their origin and production. A mineral is a solid inorganic substance of natural origin, generally found in crystalline form and of abiogenic origin with a defined chemical composition. There are numerous types of minerals in the earth’s crust. The most abundant type of minerals in the earth’s crust are silicate minerals. These minerals vary in physical and chemical properties with respect to their geological location. These minerals are derived from different types of rocks, when they undergo changes in temperature or pressure. When differentiating between metallic minerals and non-metallic minerals, the basic difference is that a metallic mineral is the mineral that contains metallic elements, while the non-metallic mineral is the mineral that does not contain any metallic elements. The name of both compounds already suggests this difference, the other key difference between both types of mineral is that metallic minerals melt to obtain the new or useful product, while non-metallic minerals do not produce new products when melted.

Comparative chart

Metallic Minerals Non-metallic minerals
Definition Metallic minerals are minerals that contain metallic elements. Non-metallic minerals are minerals that do not contain metallic elements.
Obtaining a new product The metallic minerals are melted to obtain the new or useful product. Non-metallic minerals do not produce new products when melted.
Originated Metallic minerals originate from igneous rock types. Non-metallic minerals originate from sedimentary rocks.
Look and feel Metallic minerals are hard and have a shiny appearance of their own. Non-metallic minerals are not as hard as metallic minerals and do not have a shine or luster on their own.
Malleable and ductile Yes No

What are metallic minerals?

As the name suggests, metallic minerals are minerals that contain metallic elements. The useful or new products of the metallic mineral are obtained by heating, since these compounds are malleable and ductile in nature. Metallic minerals are hard and have a shiny appearance of their own. At some point, metallic minerals themselves are considered minerals. Chalcopyrite, Iron, Copper ,Bauxite, tin, and manganese are some common examples of metallic minerals. As mentioned above, your geological location and the origin of the rock type really determine the physical and chemical properties of these chemical compounds. Generally, metallic minerals originate from igneous rock types that is why (sometimes) when the term metallic minerals comes, igneous rocks are shown for reference. Igneous rock is one of the main types of rocks, it is formed through the cooling and solidification of magma and lava. Magma is the thick mixture that is obtained as a result of the melting of existing rocks at high temperature and low pressure.

What are non-metallic minerals?

As the name suggests, non-metallic minerals are the minerals that do not contain metallic elements and are adverse to metallic compounds as they do not produce new products upon melting. They are not malleable or ductile by nature, and when struck they can break into pieces. They are not as hard as metallic minerals and have no shine or luster of their own. Some of the non-metallic minerals are also classified into precious or semi-precious jewelry and are actively used in ornaments. Generally, non-metallic minerals originate from sedimentary rocks, which are one of the main types of rocks. Sedimentary rocks are formed by the deposition and subsequent cementation of this material on the surface of the Earth and within bodies of water. Coal, salt, clay, diamond, dolomite, gypsum, mica,

Metallic vs. non-metallic minerals

  • Metallic minerals are the minerals that contain metallic elements, while non-metallic minerals are the minerals that do not contain metallic elements.
  • Metallic minerals are melted to get the new or useful product, on the other hand, non-metallic minerals do not produce new products when melted.
  • Generally, metallic minerals originate from igneous rock types, while non-metallic minerals generally originate from sedimentary rocks.
  • Metallic minerals are hard and have a shiny appearance of their own, while non-metallic minerals are not as hard as metallic minerals and have no shine or luster on their own.
  • Metallic minerals are naturally malleable and ductile, while non-metallic minerals are naturally non-malleable and ductile.

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