What is the difference between rock, mineral, ore and metal?

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May 31, 2015

Rock is a solid heterogeneous mixture of one or more minerals.

For example, granite is a mixture of the minerals quartz, feldspar, and biotite.


A mineral is a naturally occurring solid that has a crystalline structure and a definite chemical formula.

For example, gibbsite is a mineral of aluminium with the formula #"Al(OH)"_3#.


An ore is a rock that contains minerals in concentrations that are high enough for economical extraction.

For example, bauxite is an aluminium ore.

It is a heterogeneous mixture of various aluminium minerals and other materials such as silica and iron oxides.


The ores are then refined to produce the metals such as aluminium that we use in our lives.


In summary, rocks contain minerals, which in large concentration are called ores, and these are mined for metals.

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