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

1 Answer
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.

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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#.

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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.

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

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