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More than 4,000 minerals are officially recognized, and up to 100 new ones are described yearly. Minerals are rocks or sand that have more than one element in their structure. Quartz, for example, is a mineral composed o... More »

Sugar is not a mineral because it comes from a plant source. In order to be considered a mineral, a substance must be naturally occurring, solid and inorganic. More »

Minerals are most commonly classified by the Dana system. Minerals are identified according to hardness, specific gravity, color, luster, streak, cleavage and crystal form. More »

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Crushing different minerals creates different types of limes, two of which are agricultural lime (calcium carbonate) and magnesite (magnesium carbonate). Other limes, such as burnt lime (calcium oxide), hydrated lime (ca... More »

Placer mining is the extraction of minerals from alluvial deposits, often at the site of flowing water. Minerals that have been eroded from an upstream source and carried by a river, called placer, are deposited along th... More »

Georgius Agricola systematized the study of rocks, minerals and fossils, creating a standard classification and naming system that had not existed before. Perhaps more than any other individual, Agricola is credited with... More »

Sandstone contains distinct physical and chemical properties that include a hard, compact and dense composition along with texture consisting of fine granules, while chemical properties include a composition primarily of... More »