The most valuable rocks are ores. These rocks contain minerals or metals that can be of great commercial value, such as gold, platinum, copper, iron, nickel or silver.Know More
Some elements are found in more than one type of rock, and some rocks contain more than one type of element. Galena, for example, is a major source of lead, but it can also contain silver.
Nickel, a silvery white, shiny metal that has leant its name to an American coin, is found in limonite, which also contains iron. Another nickel ore is pentlandite, which contains iron as well as small amounts of cobalt.
Iron, which is strong, ductile and malleable, is one of the most sought after metals and is inexpensive because it's abundant. This is true even though iron is such a reactive element that it's rarely found in its free state. Among the ores of iron besides those mentioned are hematite, goethite and magnetite. The Earth's core is made of iron, and it's even found in meteors in the form of siderite.
Copper is also found in many types of rocks, especially rocks that are abundant in carbonates, oxides and sulphides. These ores include rocks that have their own esthetic value such as malachite, cuprite and azurite.Learn more about Geology
Nickel is extracted from ores via the Mond process, in which nickel oxides are purified through multiple steps into pure nickel metal. It is placed with hydrogen and carbon monoxide gases at 122 degrees Fahrenheit, which converts it to impure nickel. This impure nickel then reacts with the carbon monoxide, becoming nickel tetracarbonyl. This is then heated to 446 degrees Fahrenheit, which releases the carbon monoxide gas and leaves pure nickel metal.Full Answer >
As with most ores, mercury recovery is achieved through underground mining. The mercury is conventionally mined and blasted and then scraped or mechanically loaded onto ore cars.Full Answer >
According to the Minerals Education Coalition, most arsenic is obtained as a by-product in the treatment of gold, silver, copper and other metal ores. The majority of the world's arsenic comes from copper-gold deposits in Chile, Mexico and China.Full Answer >
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.Full Answer >