# What is the difference between a sulfide, carbonate and silicate group of of minerals?

Nov 26, 2017

#### Answer:

Those define the anion of each compound, and often some of their properties.
$F e S$
$F e C {O}_{3}$ and $F {e}_{2} {\left(C {O}_{3}\right)}_{3}$
$F {e}_{2} S i {O}_{4}$.

#### Explanation:

A mineral is a naturally-occurring compound containing elements or compounds of interest that must be separated from their natural combinations. The ease of extraction or processing may depend on the particular combination, so recognizing different mineral types by chemical structure is important.

A "sulfide" contains sulfur, usually in a -2 state (${S}^{- 2}$). A "carbonate" contains carbonate ions ($C {O}_{3}^{- 2}$). A silicate will contain a $S i {O}_{4}^{- 4}$ ionic group.

For example, iron ore is usually the oxide form, but iron could also exist as iron sulfide ("Fool's Gold"), $F e S$, iron carbonate (in two different oxidation states) $F e C {O}_{3}$ and $F {e}_{2} {\left(C {O}_{3}\right)}_{3}$, and iron silicate $F {e}_{2} S i {O}_{4}$.

Specific properties of each mineral type can be obtained from an Internet search for the particular formula or mineral.