Q:

Where does metal come from?

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Quick Answer

The Sustainable Design Award explains that most pure metals, such as silver, copper and aluminum, come from the Earth’s crust. They are often extracted from ores and minerals that occur in rocks. Pure metals are mixed with other metals to form alloys and improve their properties.

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Full Answer

Metals are generally classified as ferrous and non-ferrous. Ferrous metals, such as cast iron, carbon steel and mild steel, have iron in them. On the other hand, non-ferrous metals, such as lead, tin, aluminum and copper, do not contain iron. Scientists have discovered around 100 pure metals and numerous alloys, which have a variety of properties. Mining ore-bearing rocks is the first stage in creating metals. Miners use furnaces and electrolytic processes to extract metal from the rock. The metal undergoes further processing before it can be used.

Huge concentrations of metallic minerals are known as ore bodies, and they are usually associated with igneous intrusions, according to the Non-Ferrous Alliance. Most metals are typically found as compounds, while others are found as native elements. Although rarely pure, native metals are often natural alloys. Gold, silver, mercury and copper occur as native elements. Rarer metals, such as osmium, iridium and platinum, also occur as native elements.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What are some common minerals and their uses?

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    Some common minerals include aluminum, gold and copper, according to the National Mining Association. Automobiles, electrical machinery and construction projects all rely on aluminum. Gold is a common component in jewelry, as well as in instruments and coins.

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  • Q:

    What are some examples of ores?

    A:

    Examples of ores include aluminum, copper, clay and sodium. An ore is a naturally occurring mineral, rock or metal that can be mined in sufficient amounts to sell for a profit. Ores can also be a natural product that can be used as a source of a nonmetal.

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  • Q:

    What are some different types of ores and their uses?

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    Some different types of ores and their uses are bauxite, which contains aluminum; stibnite, which contains antimony; chromite, which supplies chromium; chalcopyrite, which provides copper and wolframite and scheelite, which provide tungsten. Each ore can have metals extracted for use in construction, electrical items and other goods.

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  • Q:

    Does silver bond with other elements?

    A:

    Silver is one of the least reactive metals, only forming bonds with sulfur, nitrogen and the members of the halogen group. The halogens include chlorine, bromine, iodine, fluorine and astatine.

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