What are Minerals

Mineral and Power Resources of Class 8

A naturally occurring substance that has a definite chemical composition is a mineral. Minerals are one of the most important resources of a country. They are of different types and provide sound base for eoonornic and industrial development. Minerals are not found equally distributed over space. They are concentrated in a particular area or rock formations. Minerals are formed in different types of geological environments, under varying conditions. They are created by natural processes without any human interference.


Types of Minerals

Minerals are classified on the basis of physical properties, such as colour density, hardness and chemical properties such as solubility. On the basis of composition, minerals are classified mainly as metallic and non-metallic minerals. The metallic minerals contain metal in raw form.

Metals are hard substances that conduct heat and electricity and have a characteristics lustre or shine. Iron ore, bauxite, manganese ore are some examples. Metallic minerals may be ferrous or non-ferrous. Ferrous minerals like iron ore, manganese ore and chromite contain iron.

A non-ferrous mineral does not contain iron but may contain some other metal such as gold, silver, copper or lead. The non-metallic minerals do not contain metals. Limestone; mica and gypsum are examples of such minerals. The mineral fuels like coal and petroleum are also non-metallic minurals.

Extraction of Minerals

The process of taking out minerals from rocks buried under the earth's surface is called mining. Minerals that lie at shallow depths are taken out by removing the surface layer; this is known as open-cast mining.Deep bores, called shafts have to be made to reach mineral deposits that lie at great depths.

This is called shaft mining. Petroleum and natural gas occur far below the earth's surface. Deep wells are bored to take them out, this is called drilling. Minerals that lie near the surface are simply dug out  by the process known as quarrying.

extracting minerals from earth

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