# Minerals and Mineral Groups

A brief introduction to minerals.

Tip: This isn't the place to ask a question because the teacher can't reply.

## Key Questions

A mineral is a naturally occurring, solid, inorganic substance with a crystalline form and a definite chemical formula.

#### Explanation:

A mineral is a naturally occurring, solid, inorganic substance with a crystalline form and a definite chemical formula. A mineral is not the same as a rock (see image below and this Socratic question).

Examples of minerals include quartz, calcite, copper, gold, pyrite, talc, and zircon. For a longer list, see here.

• Briefly minerals are simpler than rocks

Minerals are chemical compositions while rocks are mixtures of different minerals. For example mineral olivine consists of magnesium ( $M g$ ) and (or) iron ( $F e$ ) atoms and one orthosilicate group ( $S i {O}_{4}$ ). It has its unique chemical and physical properties. But with the other minerals it can compose the rocks. Peridotite is an igneous rock which is consists mostly of olivine and some pyroxene (another mineral which has its own chemical composition different from olivine). Well- known basalt (igneous rock) as well as peridotite contains some olivine but much less. Basalt also consists of amphibole, pyroxene, plagioclase and feldspar.

I hope I could explain clearly. Anyway feel free to ask questions :)

• Carbonates, halides, native elements, oxides, silicates, sulfates, and sulfides.

Carbonate minerals contain $C {O}_{3}$ (carbon and oxygen) combined with other elements. Calcite is the most common carbonate mineral.

Halides include chlorine and fluorine. Common Halides are halite (common salt) and fluorite.

Native elements are minerals that form as individual elements. Copper and gold are examples of these.

Oxides, as one can imagine, are made up of oxygen and one or more metal. Hematite is an oxide.

Silicates make up over 90% of common rock-forming minerals and contain silicon and oxygen (the two most abundant elements in the earth's crust).

Sulfates contain $S {O}_{4}$ (sulfur and oxygen) combined with other elements. Gypsum is a sulfate.

Sulfides contain sulfur and metal. Common sulfide minerals are galena and pyrite.

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