An ore is a special type of rock that contains a large enough amount of a particular mineral (usually a metal) to make it economically practical to extract that mineral from the surrounding rock. Not all minerals are found in a large enough amount in one location to make it worth it to remove the ore from the rock through a process known as mining. Ores can be mined in a number of ways, including strip mining as shown here at this uranium mine. If there is a large enough amount present, the rock will be extracted and processed in a variety of ways (depending on the type of mineral) to remove the mineral from the surrounding rock. Once they are extracted and processed, the minerals can be turned into whatever products are desired, including the components in your cell phones and computers. One of the best known metals, gold, is extracted from gold ore like this sample.



The process of extracting metal ores buried deep underground is called Mining. The metal ores are found in the earth’s crust in varying abundance. The extraction of metals from ores is what allows us to use the minerals in the ground! The ores are very different from the finished metals that we see in buildings and bridges. Ores consist of the desired metal compound and the impurities and earthly substances called gangue. The extraction of metals and its isolation occurs over few major steps:
• Concentration of Ore
• Isolation of metal from the concentrated Ore
• Purification of the metal


Some Important Ores of Metals


  1. Name of Elements: Aluminum (Al)

Ores: Bauxite: Al2O32H2O

Corundum: Al2O3

Kryolite: Na3AlF6 

  1. Name of Elements: Iron (Fe)

Ores: Hematite: Fe2O3

Magnetite: Fe3O4

IronPyrite: FeS2

Siderite: FeCO3

  1. Name of Elements: Copper (Cu)

Ores: Copper Pyrite: CuFeS2

Copper Glance: Cu2S

Malachite: 2CuCO3Cu(OH)2

  1. Name of Elements: Zinc (Zn)

Ores: Zinc Blende: ZnS

Calamine: ZnCo3

  1. Name of Elements: Sodium (Na)

Ores: Rock Salt: NaCl

Sodium Carbonate: Na2CO3

  1. Name of Elements: Potassium (K)

Ores: Karnalite: KClMgCl6H2O

Salt Petre: KNO3

  1. Name of Elements: Lead (Pb)

Ores: Galena: PbS

Anglesite: PbCl2

  1. Name of Elements: Tin (Sn)

Ores: Tin Pyrites: Cu2FeSnS4

Classiterite: SnO2

  1. Name of Elements: Silver (Ag)

Ores: Silver Glance: Ag2S

  1. Name of Elements: Gold (Au)

Ores: Calve rite: AuTe2

Sybarite: AgAuTe2

  1. Name of Elements: Mercury (Hg)

Ores: Cinnabar: HgS

Calomel: Hg2Cl2

  1. Name of Elements: Magnesium (Mg)

Ores: Dolomite: MgCO3CaCO3

Karnalite: KClMgCl26H2O

Name of Elements: Calcium (Ca)

Ores: Lime Stone: CaCO3

Dolomite: MgCO3CaCO3

Name of Elements: Phosphorous (P)

Ores: Phosphorite: Ca3(PO4)CaFe2

Floreopetite: 3Ca3(PO4)CaFe2


Difference between Minerals and Ores


                  Minerals                              Ores
All the naturally occurring substances of metals which are present in the earth’s crust are known as Minerals. Ores are usually used to extract metals economically. A large amount of metals are present.
All Minerals are not ores. All ores are minerals.
Minerals are native form in which metals exist. Ores are mineral deposits.


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