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80 Common Minerals and Their Uses that Light You Up

Author : Jordan | Last Updated :

Cerussite

Cerussite

Chemical formula: PbCO3

Molecular weight: 267.21 gm

Color: white, gray, light green or blue

Streak: white

Transparency: transparent or translucent

Luster: adamantine, sometimes greasy or nacreous

Fracture: conchoidal

Hardness: 3.0-3.5

Specific gravity: 6.4-6.6

Cleavage: {110} distinct, {021} distinct

Luminescence: none

Common paragenetic minerals: calcite, barite, galena, anglesite, pyromorphite, wulfenite, etc.

Uses: It is often used as a symbol to find lead ore.

Scheelite

Scheelite

Chemical formula: CaWO4

Color: gray, light yellow, light purple or light brown, sometimes with green, orange or red

Streak: yellow-green

Transparency: transparent to translucent

Luster: greasy, adamantine

Fracture: uneven

Hardness: 4.5

Specific gravity: 6.1

Luminescence: fluorescence; UV short wave is bright blue-white.

Refractive index: 1.915-1.937

Birefringence: 0.016

Dispersion: 0.026

Uses: 80% of the scheelite mined in the world is used for smelting high-quality steel, 15% for producing hard steel and 5% for other purposes. The scheelite, a metal with a wide range of uses, can be used to manufacture firearms, nozzles of rocket propellers, metals cutting, etc.

Muscovite

Muscovite

Chemical formula: KAl2(AISi3O10)(OH)2

Molecular weight: 398.71 gm

Mineral group: phyllosilicate minerals

Shape: large plate

Color: varied from colorless to light color

Transparency: transparent

Luster: vitreous to silky

Hardness: 2.5-3

Specific gravity: 2.76-3.10

Cleavage: {001} perfect

Distribution: in metamorphic rocks and granite

Features: elastic lamellae

Crystal system: monoclinic

Characteristics: insulation, high-temperature resistance, luster, stable physical and chemical properties, good insulation, elasticity and toughness

Uses: It is widely used in the building materials industry, fire protection industry and chemical industry such as extinguishing agent, electric welding electrode, plastic, electrical insulation, papermaking, asphalt paper, rubber and pearlescent pigment. Superfine mica powder can be used as functional filler for plastics, coatings, paints, rubber, etc., which can improve its mechanical strength, toughness, adhesion, aging resistance and corrosion resistance.

Cinnabar

Cinnabar

Chemical formula: HgS

Molecular weight: 232.66 gm

Fracture: conchoidal to uneven

Hardness: 2-2.5

Specific gravity: 8.0-8.2

Cleavage: {1010} perfect

Crystal system: trigonal/hexagonal

Uses: mercury refining, laser modulation crystal, calming medicine, etc.

Hematite

Hematite

Chemical formula: Fe2O3

Molecular weight: 159.69 gm

Mineral group: oxides

Color: caesious

Streak: cherry red to reddish brown

Transparency: opaque

Luster: metallic to dark dull

Fracture: sub-conchoidal to uneven

Hardness: 5-6

Specific gravity: 5.3

Cleavage: none

Crystal system: hexagonal

Crystal habit: tabular, sometimes lamelliform or botryoidal

Refractive index: 2.94-3.22

Cuprite

Cuprite

Chemical formula: Cu2O

Copper content: 88.82%

Color: red, fuchsia, maroon, nearly black

Luster: adamantine, semi-metallic

Hardness: 3.5-4.5

Specific gravity: 5.3

Crystal system: isometric

Crystal habit: cube, octahedron or combinate form

Optical property: homogeneous

Main producing areas: France, Chile, Bolivia, South Australia, USA, etc.

Uses: processed into copper concentrate through beneficiation

Magnetite

Magnetite

Chemical formula: Fe3O4

Color: black

Streak: black

Transparency: opaque

Luster: metallic or semi-metallic

Hardness: 5.5-6

Specific gravity: 4.8-5.3

Cleavage: none

Main producing areas: Russia, North America, Brazil, Australia, China, etc.

Uses: It is the main mineral raw material for iron making and traditional Chinese medicinal materials.

Orpiment

Orpiment

Chemical formula: As2S3

Safety description: highly toxic

Appearance: lemon yellow

Transparency: translucent

Luster: adamantine to greasy

Hardness: 1.5-2

Specific gravity: 3.49

Refractive index: 2.81

Main producing areas: Romania, Germany, etc.

Uses: the manufacture of arsenic and arsenic compounds

Opal

Opal

Chemical formula: SiO2nH2O

Mineral group: silicate minerals

Color: opal

Luster: vitreous or waxy

Features: conchoidal

Hardness: 5-5.5

Specific gravity: 1.9-2.5

Density: 2.15-2.23 g/cm3

Water content: 5%-10%

Crystal habit: dense massive, granular, earthy, stalactitic, concretionary, porous, etc.

Uses: jewelry (such as rings and pendants); Fossil opal can be used to make crafts.

Tourmaline

Tourmaline

Chemical formula: (Na/Ca)(Mg/Li/Al/Fe2+)3Al6(BO3)3Si6O18(OH)4

Color: black, red, green, blue, brown, gray, orange-red, fuchsia, light green, etc.

Transparency: transparent to translucent

Luster: vitreous

Hardness: 7-7.5

Density: 3.0-3.25

Melting point: 1105-1725 ℃

Properties: pyroelectricity, piezoelectricity

Crystal habit: granular, acicular as well as vein-like, radiated and fibrous aggregates

Uses: water treatment, electromagnetic shielding, ceramics, acoustoelectric materials, medicine, etc.

Arsenopyrite

Arsenopyrite

Chemical formula: FeAsS

Color: tin white to steel gray

Streak: gray black

Transparency: opaque

Luster: metallic

Fracture: uneven

Hardness: 5.5-6

Specific gravity: 5.9-6.3

Cleavage: {110} distinct

Main producing areas: Freiberg in Germany; Cornwall in the UK; Cobalt in Canada, etc.

Uses: It is used to produce various pesticides, herbicides and chemical weapons. Arsenic compounds are also used in medicine, paint, fireworks and glass.

Calcite

Calcite

Chemical formula: CaCO3

Main ingredients: Ca, C, O

Mineral group: carbonate minerals

Color: transparent or white, sometimes with noise

Streak: white

Luster: vitreous

Hardness: 3

Specific gravity: 2.60-2.8 g/cm3

Density: 2.71

Cleavage: {1011} perfect

Crystal system: trigonal

Refractive index: 1.48-1.66

Birefringence: 0.1712

Uses: Calcite is used as a flux in the metallurgical industry and used to produce cement and lime in the construction industry. It is also used in plastics, paper making, toothpaste, glass lampshades and additives in food.

Boracite

Boracite

Chemical formula: Mg3(B7O13)Cl

Color: white or off-white

Luster: vitreous

Fracture: conchoidal

Relative density: 3.48

Cleavage: none

Distribution: in gypsum and halite deposit

Other properties: thermoelectricity

Crystal system: monoclinic

Galena

Galena

Chemical formula: PbS

Color: lead gray

Streak: gray black

Transparency: opaque

Luster: metallic

Hardness: 2-3

Density: 7.4-7.6

Crystal habit: cubic as well as columnar or dense massive aggregates

Uses: Galena is the main mineral for extracting lead. The use of lead is ancient and extensive, such as type printing, wire coating, pencil lead, etc.

Peridot

Peridot

Chemical formula: Mg2SiO4

Color: emerald green, yellowish green, golden green

Transparency: transparent

Luster: vitreous

Fracture: conchoidal

Hardness: 6.5-8

Specific gravity: 3.34 (+0.14, -0.07)

Density: 3.3-3.5

Cleavage: poor

Appearance: columnar or short columnar, often irregularly granular

Crystal system: orthorhombic

Crystal habit: short columnar and granular

Water-soluble: insoluble in water

Absorption spectrum: 453nm, 477nm and 497nm

Uses: refractories

Ruby

Ruby

Chemical formula: Al2O3

Title: King of Colored Gems

Color: red to pink

Hardness: 9

Relative density: 3.99-4.00

Crystal habit: trigonal

Refractive index: 1.762-1.770

Pleochroism: moderately strong dichroism

Birefringence: 0.008-0.010

Main producing areas: Mogok and Mong Hsu in Myanmar, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Vietnam, China, etc.

Selection of rubies: particle size, color, fire, crack, etc.

Sapphire

Sapphire

Chemical formula: Al2O3

Mineral group: corundum minerals

Color: other colors except red

Luster: bright vitreous

Fracture: conchoidal to uneven

Specific gravity: 4.0-4.1

Cleavage: none

Important varieties: star sapphire, cornflower, royal blue, etc.

Crystal system: trigonal

Crystal habit: barrel or columnar; A few are plate-shaped or blade-shaped.

Uses: jewelry, artwork, etc.

Zircon

Zircon

Chemical formula: ZrSiO4

Luster: vitreous and adamantine, greasy (fracture)

Specific gravity: 4.4-4.8

Density: 3.90-4.73 g/cm3

Appearance: transparent to translucent, colorless, magenta, golden yellow, light yellow

Crystal structure: tetragonal

Uses: refractory materials, sand materials, ceramic raw materials, gem raw materials, etc.

Chromite

Chromite

Chemical formula: Fe2+Cr3+2O4

Color: black

Transparency: opaque

Hardness: 5.5-6.5

Specific gravity: 4.3-4.8

Cleavage: none

Main producing areas: Brazil, Cuba, India, South Africa, Pakistan, Zimbabwe, Turkey, etc.

Uses: refining metallic chromium and producing ferrochrome, stainless steel, manufacturing dichromate, etc.

Limonite

Limonite

Chemical formula: FeO(OH)·nH2O

Color: tawny to brown-black

Streak: tawny

Luster: semi-metallic

Hardness: semi-metallic

Crystal habit: massive, stalactitic, botryoidal, loose porous, powder, concretionary or pyrite crystal.

Main producing areas: Lorraine in France, Bavaria, Sweden, etc.

Fluorite

Wolframite

Chemical formula: CaF2O

Title: The most brilliant gem in the world

Color: colorless, purple, lilac, golden yellow, green, blue, pink, champagne, brown

Streak: white

Luster: vitreous or dark (large crystal)

Fracture: uneven or sub-conchoidal

Toughness: brittle and fragile

Hardness: 4

Specific gravity: 3.00-3.25

Density: 3.175-3.56 g/cm3

Melting point: 1360 ℃

Cleavage: {111} perfect

Main producing areas: Cornwall and Castleton in the United Kingdom; Puy-de-Dome in France; Mont Blanc in Switzerland; the Black Forest in Germany; Asturias in Spain; Dalnegorsk in Russia; Hunan Province in China; Chihuahua in Mexico; New York, Ohio, Illinois and Tennessee in the US, etc.

Uses: refining a large number of fluorine minerals and producing glass, enamel, optical fields, etc.

Wolframite

Biotite

Chemical formula: (Fe/Mn)WO4

Color: brown to black

Luster: metallic, semi-metallic

Hardness: 4-4.5

Specific gravity: 7.2-7.5

Crystal habit: tabular or column

Main production areas: Siberia in Russia, Myanmar, Thailand, Australia, Bolivia, etc.

Uses: producing various deep-processed products of tungsten; The special alloy steel of tungsten is used to manufacture high-speed cutting tools, gun bores, barrels, rocket engines, rocket nozzles, tank armour, etc.

Biotite

Biotite

Chemical formula: K(Mg/Fe)3(AlSi3O10)(F/OH)2

Mineral group: mica

Color: black, brown, red, green

Streak: white

Transparency: transparent to translucent

Luster: vitreous

Hardness: 2.5-3

Brittleness: elastic; It is easy to be torn into pieces.

Features: extremely high electrical insulation

Uses: It is widely used in fire extinguishing agents, welding electrodes, plastics, electrical insulation, papermaking, asphalt paper, rubber, fillers, etc.

Tiger's Eye

Tiger's Eye

Chemical formula: SiO2

Color: brownish yellow, brown to reddish-brown (krocodylite) and gray blue, dark gray blue (hawk's eye)

Luster: waxy

Hardness: 7

Processing method: cabochon cutting

Main producing areas: Transvaal in South Africa (South Africa's national gem), India, Sri Lanka, Brazil, Namibia, Australia, Brazil, etc.

Sphalerite

Sphalerite

Chemical formula: (Zn/Fe)S

Color: light yellow, brown to black (iron sphalerite)

Streak: white to brown

Transparency: transparent to translucent

Luster: adamantine to semi-metallic

Fracture: not flat

Hardness: 3-4.5

Specific gravity: 3.9-4.2

Cleavage: {110} perfect

Luminescence: fluorescence and phosphorescence after friction

Main producing areas: Broken Hill in Australia; Mississippi Valley in the United States, etc.

Uses: It is the main mineral raw material for refining zinc, and its rare elements such as cadmium, indium and gallium can also be comprehensively utilized.

Granite

Granite

Chemical composition: SiO2 (65%-70%) with a little Al2O3, CaO, MgO and Fe2O3

Main minerals: quartz, potash feldspar and acid plagioclase

Color: light salmon, light gray, ash grey, etc.

Density: 2790-3070 kg/m3

Specific gravity: 2.6-2.75

Water absorption rate: 0.13%

Elasticity modulus: 1.3-1.5x106 kg/cm3

Compressive strength: 1000-3000 kg/cm2

Uses: paving block and building materials

Talc

Talc

Chemical formula: Mg3Si4O10(OH)2

Mineral group: silicate minerals

Color: white or various light colors

Streak: white

Transparency: translucent

Luster: greasy (massive) or nacreous (schistose aggregated)

Hardness: 1

Specific gravity: 2.6-2.8

Uses: refractory materials, papermaking, rubber fillers, pesticide absorbents, leather coatings, cosmetic materials and engraving materials, etc.

Pyrite

Pyrite

Chemical formula: FeS2

Streak: light brass

Transparency: opaque

Luster: bright metallic

Fracture: uneven

Hardness: 6

Specific gravity: 4.90

Cleavage: none

Crystal system: isometric

Distribution: igneous rock, metamorphic rock, sedimentary rock

Main producing areas: Spain, Czech Republic, Slovakia, United States and China

Uses: the main raw material for the production of sulfur and sulfuric acid

Chalcopyrite

Chalcopyrite

Chemical formula: CuFeS2

Color: yellow; Blue and purple-brown spots often appear on the surface.

Streak: green black

Luster: metallic, opaque

Hardness: 3-4

Relative density: 4.1-4.3

Main producing areas: Minas de Riotinto in Spain; Arizona Utah and Montana in the US; Cananea in Mexico; Chuquicamata in Chile, etc.

Uses: the main raw material for copper smelting

Topaz

Topaz

Chemical formula: Al2(SiO4)(F/OH)2

Color: colorless, light blue, blue, yellow, pink, maroon, green, etc.

Transparency: transparent

Luster: vitreous

Hardness: 8

Density: around 3.53g/cm3

Refractive index: 1.619-1.627

Distribution: granite pegmatite, greisen

Bismuth

Bismuth

Chemical formula: Bi

Color: tin white with slight lead gray

Streak: lead gray or gray black

Transparency: opaque

Luster: metallic

Hardness: 2-2.5

Specific gravity: 6.8

Cleavage: {0001} perfect

Main producing areas: Bolivia, Peru, Russia, Central Asia and Russia

Uses: It is the most important mineral for refining bismuth to manufacture low melting point alloys, used as fuse and solder for automatic fire extinguishing system and electrical appliances in the fire and electrical industries.

Spinel

Spinel

Chemical formula: MgAl2O4

Color: red, orange-red, pink, prunosus, colorless, yellow, aurantiacus, brown, blue, green, purple, etc.

Transparency: transparent to opaque

Luster: vitreous to sub-adamantine

Fracture: conchoidal

Hardness: 8

Specific gravity: 3.60 or 4.60 (with high Zn content)

Cleavage: none

Distribution: schist, serpentine, etc.

Features: aventurescence, rare asterism

Crystal system: isometric

Crystal habit: octahedral

Main producing areas: Mogok in Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania, Tajikistan, Vietnam, the United States and Afghanistan

Uses: metallurgy, glass, cement, ceramics and other industries

Diamond

Diamond

Chemical formula: C

Color: colorless (the best) to black

Streak: none

Hardness: 10

Density: 3.52 g/cm3

Melting point: 3550-4000 °C

Refractive index: 2.417 (under 500 nm light wave)

Dispersion rate: 0.044

Main producing areas: South Africa, Australia, Zaire, Botswana and Russia

Rutile

Rutile

Chemical formula: TiO2

Mineral group: titanium oxide

Color: reddish-brown, red, yellow or black

Luster: vitreous to metallic

Fracture: uneven

Hardness: 6

Specific gravity: 4.2-4.3

Luminescence: none

Refractive index: 2.62-2.90

Birefringence: 0.287

Crystal system: tetragonal

Uses: military aviation, aerospace, navigation, machinery, chemical industry, seawater desalination, etc.

Gold ore

Gold ore

Chemical formula: Au

Color: golden yellow (pure gold); changes accordingly with impurities containing

Luster: metallic

Specific gravity: 15-19.3

Crystal habit: irregular granular, lumpy, tabular, web, dendritic, fibrelike and spongy

Uses: metallurgy

Malachite

Malachite

Chemical formula: Cu2(CO3)(OH)2

Color: green

Transparency: translucent to opaque

Luster: waxy, vitreous

Fracture: conchoidal, uneven

Hardness: 3.5-4

Density: 3.6-4 g/cm3

Brittleness: brittle

Solubility: 25 ℃

Crystal system: monoclinic

Main producing areas: Zambia, Australia, Namibia, Russia, Zaire, United States, etc.

Uses: decoration, industrial use, medicine

Azurite

Azurite

Chemical formula: Cu3(CO3)2(OH)2

Color: green, malachite green, dark green, etc.

Luster: silky or vitreous

Fracture: conchoidal

Hardness: 3.5-4

Crystal habit: monoclinic

Main producing areas: Zambia, Australia, Namibia, Russia, Zaire, United States, etc.

Uses: pigments, artworks or decorations

Spodumene

Spodumene

Chemical formula: LiAlSi2O6

Types: Types: kunzite, spodumene, hiddenite

Color: pink, fuchsia, yellow, green, colorless, etc.

Transparency: strong pleochroism with obvious trichroism

Luster: vitreous

Fracture: step-like

Hardness: 6.5-7

Density: 3.03-3.22 g/cm3

Cleavage: perfect in two directions with parting

Crystal system: monoclinic

Main producing areas: Brazil, Madagascar, United States, Xinjiang Province in China

Uses: ceramics, metallurgy, vitreous enamel, special glass, chemical industry, etc.

Apatite

Apatite

Chemical formula: Ca5(PO4)3(F/Cl/OH)

Color: yellow, light yellow, blue, green, purple, pink, etc.

Streak: colorless

Transparency: usually transparent, translucent (those with chatoyancy)

Luster: vitreous, greasy (fracture)

Fracture: uneven, conchoidal

Hardness: 5

Specific gravity: 3.20

Brittleness: brittle

Cleavage: {0001} indistinct, {1010} indistinct

Distribution: various igneous rocks

Crystal system: hexagonal

Crystal habit: vitreous, massive or concretionary

Uses: It is an important raw material for extracting phosphorus and manufacturing agricultural phosphate fertilizer. Apatite with good color and crystal can be used as gemstone or decorative material.

Phosphorite

Phosphorite

Chemical formula: Zn2Fe(PO4)2•4H2O

Color: yellow-green

Hardness: 3.5-4

Density: 7.04-7.24

Toughness: fragile

Crystal system: hexagonal

Main producing areas: United States, Germany, United Kingdom, Mexico, Canada, Russia, Australia, Spain, Southwest Africa and China

Uses: It is a mineral raw material for lead smelting.

Rhodochrosite

Rhodochrosite

Chemical formula: MnCO3

Color: pink, dark red

Transparency: transparent to translucent

Luster: vitreous, sub-vitreous

Hardness: 3-5

Cleavage: {1011} perfect, {1011} perfect, {1011} perfect

Optical characters: uniaxial crystal, negative optical

Optical properties: chatoyancy, asterism

Crystal system: trigonal

Main producing areas: United States, Peru, Argentina, Romania, Japan, South Africa and China

Uses: jade carving material

Quartz

Quartz

Chemical formula: SiO2

Mineral group: oxide minerals

Color: colorless

Transparency: translucent or transparent

Luster: vitreous, greasy (fracture)

Hardness: 7

Specific gravity: 2.22-2.65

Density: 2.65 g/cm3

Cleavage: none

Distribution: in most rocks as one of the main rock-forming minerals Crystal system: trigonal or hexagonal

Uses: It is widely used in glass, ceramics, petroleum, metallurgy, casting, building materials and other industries.

Celestite

Celestite

Chemical formula: SrSO4

Color: light blue or sky blue

Streak: white

Transparency: transparent to translucent

Luster: vitreous, nacreous (cleavage surface)

Hardness: 3-3.5

Density: 3.97-4.0 g/cm3

Distribution: sedimentary rocks such as limestone, dolomite and gypsum

Crystal system: orthorhombic

Crystal habit: A single crystal is often plate-shaped or columnar and the aggregate is granular, fibrous and nodular.

Uses: It is used in the manufacture of strontium carbonate and the production of TV glass, etc.

Strontium carbonate

Strontium carbonate

Ca content: 10.6%

Color: white, or grey, yellowish white, green, brown (with impurities)

Luster: vitreous, greasy (fracture)

Hardness: 3.5-4

Relative density: 3.6-3.8

Crystal system: trigonal

Distribution: in limestone or marlstone, coexisting with witherite, baryte, calcite, celestite, fluorite and sulfide

Uses: As an important raw material to extract strontium, strontium carbonate is mainly used in the manufacture of TV screen glass, which can absorb gamma rays; secondly it is used in the manufacture of strontium ferrite.

Siderite

Siderite

Chemical formula: FeCO3

Color: generally gray or yellowish-white

Hardness: 3.75-4.25

Specific gravity: 3.7-4.0

Water absorption rate: <0.5%

Thermal stability: no cracking at 700℃

Common symbiotic minerals: quartz, pyrite, limonite, goethite, chalcopyrite, sphalerite, cryolite, galena, barite, calcite, dolomite, fluorite, etc.

Main producing areas: Poland, Bohemia in Czech, Germany, France, Britain, Portugal, Brazil, Peru, Bolivia, China, etc.

Uses: smelting steel

Epidote

Epidote

Chemical formula: Ca2(Al/Fe)Al2O(SiO4)(Si2O7)O(OH)

Color: gray, yellow, yellow-green, green-brown, or nearly black; The color becomes darker as the content increases.

Streak: not obvious to gray

Transparency: transparent to translucent

Luster: vitreous

Fracture: irregular

Hardness: 6-7

Specific gravity: 3.38-3.49

Density: 3.40 (+0.10, -0.15) g/cm3

Cleavage: {001} perfect

Crystalline state: crystalline

Crystal system: monoclinic

Main producing areas: Mexico, Switzerland, Austria, Pakistan, France, etc.

Uses: In industrial applications, epidote generally only has mineralogical and petrological significance. It is the primary ore of emerald and transparent crystals can be ground into precious and rare faceted gemstones.

Turquoise

Turquoise

Chemical formula: ‎CuAl6(PO4)4(OH)8·4H2O

Color: green, blue, blue-green, bluish yellow

Luster: waxy, greasy

Fracture: conchoidal, granular

Hardness: 5-6

Relative density: 2.6-2.73

Cleavage: none

Refractive index: 1.610-1.650, 1.61 (spot measurement)

Optical characteristics: heterogeneous aggregates

Crystal system: triclinic

Main producing areas: China, Iran, Egypt, United States, Mexico, Afghanistan, India, etc.

Uses: jewelry, handicrafts, national beliefs

Agate

Agate

Chemical formula: SiO2

Types: onyx, sardonyx, agate arborisee, castle agate, etc.

Color: green, red, yellow, brown, white, etc.

Streak: white

Transparency: translucent

Hardness: 6.5-7

Specific gravity: 2.65

Appearance: striped block of opal and cryptocrystalline quartz

Crystal system: trigonal

Main producing areas: China, India, Brazil, Madagascar, the United States, Egypt, Australia, Mexico, etc.

Thenardite

Thenardite

Growing environment: alkali earth area in the seaside, mineral springs, salt fields and humid caves

Harvesting time: It can be harvested throughout the year, but autumn and winter are better.

Dosage: 6~12g; appropriate amount for external use

Storage: airtight, below 30 ℃, anti-weathering

Property and flavor: cold, salty, bitter

Efficacy: defaecation, moistening dryness, softening hardness, heat-clearing and detumescence

Indications: used for bloating, dry bound stools, acute appendicitis, piles sores

Medicinal properties: It is prismatic, rectangular or irregular block and granular. It is brittle and fragile. colorless transparent or off-white translucent; vitreous fracture;

Alunite

Alunite

Chemical formula: KAl3(SO4)2(OH)6

Color: white, light gray (with impurities) and light yellow (with impurities)

Luster: vitreous

Fracture: splintery, conchoidal

Hardness: 2-2.5

Density: 2.6-2.9

Cleavage: {0001} perfect

Distribution: in the form of cystid or thin layers in volcanic rocks such as rhyolite, trachyte and andesite

Crystal system: trigonal

Crystal habit: small rhombohedron, thick tabular or dense massive, fine granular, earthy or fibrous aggregates.

Uses: in the manufacturing industry, chemical industry, food industry, agriculture, chemical industry, environmental protection industry such as mordant for dyeing cloth, hardener for tanning materials and film, the catalyst for synthesis ammonia, clarifying agent for sugar and water, precipitating agent for mineral processing, etc.

Wulfenite

Wulfenite

Chemical formula: Pb(MoO4)

Color: yellow or wax yellow

Streak: off-white

Transparency: transparent to translucent

Luster: adamantine, greasy (fracture)

Fracture: sub-conchoidal

Hardness: 2.5-3

Specific gravity: 6.5-7

Cleavage: {101} imperfect

Crystal system: tetragonal

Main production areas: Pribram in Bohemia, Czech Republic; Oudida in Morocco; SidiRenman in Algeria; BrokenHill in NewSouthWales, Australia; Ahumada mine in Mexico; Arizona in the USA, etc.

Molybdenum extraction from wulfenite: sodium sulfide leaching process, bio-leaching process, mechano-chemical direct decomposition process

Albite

Albite

Chemical formula: Na(AlSi3O8)

Color: colorless, white, yellow, red or black

Hardness: 6-6.5

Specific gravity: 2.62

Density: 2.61-2.64 g/cm3

Melting point: 1100 ℃

Distribution: pegmatite and granite

Crystal system: triclinic

Uses: making ceramics, soap, ceramic tiles, floor tiles, glass, abrasives, etc.

Niobium tantalite

Niobium tantalite

Color: brown to iron black

Streak: dark red to black

Transparency: translucent to opaque

Luster: semi-metallic to metallic

Hardness: 4.2 (niobite) -7 (manganotantalite)

Relative density: 5.36-8.17

Other properties: brittle; weak—strong electromagnetism

Crystal system: orthorhombic

Uses: main ore mineral containing niobium and tantalum; Niobium and tantalum are mainly used to produce special alloy steel for military industry and advanced technology.

Szaibelyite

Szaibelyite

Chemical formula: MgBO2(OH)

Mineral group: borate minerals

Color: white, grey white, light green, yellow

Streak: white

Luster: silky to earthy

Hardness: 3-4

Weight: 2.62-2.75

Cleavage: none

Distribution: mainly occurring in skarn type and hydrothermal metasomatic type deposits, often associated with ludwigite, fluoborite, etc.

Crystal system: monoclinic

Uses: in the production of boric acid, borax, boron, boron compounds, etc.

Ludwigite

Ludwigite

Chemical formula: Mg2Fe3+(BO3)O2

Color: dark green or black

Luster: dull silky

Hardness: 5.5-6

Density: 3.6-4.7 g/cm3

Distribution: produced in serpentinization dolomite marble or magnesia skarn, often associated with magnetite, diopside, flogopite, forsterite, etc.

Crystal system: orthorhombic

Crystal habit: acicular, radiated or granular block aggregates

Uses: making boron and boride

Borax

Borax

Chemical formula: Na2(B4O5)(OH)4 · 8H2O

Molecular weight: 381.37

Mineral group: borate minerals

Density: 1.73 g/cm3

Melting point: 741 ℃ (anhydrous)

Water soluble: soluble in water

Appearance: fine white crystal

Pharmacological action: bacteriostasis, anticonvulsion and antiepileptic action, preservative effect and protecting skin mucosa

Preparation methods: sulfuric acid method, ordinary pressure alkaline hydrolysis, pressure alkaline hydrolysis, soda method, soda roasting—ordinary pressure water immersion, etc.

Uses: preparation of boron compounds to be widely used in metallurgy, iron and steel, machinery, military industry, cutting tools, papermaking, vacuum tube, chemical and textile sectors

Palygorskite

Palygorskite

Chemical formula: (Mg/Al)2Si4O10(OH) · 4H2O

Color: white, grey, light green or light brown

Luster: earthy or weak silky

Fracture: conchoidal, uneven

Hardness: 2-2.5

Density: 2.05-2.32 g/cm3

Brittleness: brittle

Cleavage: {110} good

Distribution: weathered crust of magnesium-rich rock

Crystal system: monoclinic

Uses: Palygorskite is widely used in chemical industry, pesticide, national defense, medicine, building materials, light textile and other industries. In recent years, its applications in environmental protection, automobile, insulation, ceramic industry applications, have also made outstanding progress. It is an ideal alternative to asbestos.

Augite

Augite

Chemical formula: (Ca/Na)(Mg/Fe/Al/Ti)(Si/Al)2O6

Color: greenish black or black

Transparency: translucent

Luster: vitreous

Hardness: 5.5-6

Relative density: 3.02-3.45

Distribution: igneous rocks and metamorphic rocks

Crystal system: monoclinic or orthorhombic

Anglesite

Anglesite

Chemical formula: PbSO4

Color: colorless to white, or dark gray (with impurities)

Luster: adamantine

Hardness: 2.5-3

Solubility: extremely low

Optical properties: biaxial crystal, positive character

Distribution: oxidation zone of sulfide deposits

Crystal habits: tabular, short columnar, or conical

Uses: It is an indicator mineral for deep primary sulfide ore body. Colorful anglesite can be used as an ornamental specimen.

Bluestone

Bluestone

Chemical formula: CuSO4 · 5H2O

Color: sky blue, blue, sometimes with a little light green

Streak: colorless or light blue

Hardness: 2.5

Specific gravity: 2.1-2.3

Density: 2.284 g/cm3

Melting point: 110 ℃

Boiling point: 330 ℃

Water soluble: highly soluble in water

Distribution: oxidation zone of copper deposits, also often appear in the mine tunnel wall and pillars

Appearance: blue massive or powdery crystals

Crystal system: triclinic

Uses: metal smelting, chemical industry, medicinal, gas desiccant, etc.

Rhodonite

Rhodonite

Chemical formula: (Mn2+/Fe2+/Mg/Ca)SiO3

Color: light pink, rose red

Streak: gray or yellow-green

Transparency: translucent or opaque

Luster: vitreous to nacreous

Fracture: uneven

Hardness: 5.5-6.5

Density: 3.50(+0.26, -0.20) g/cm3

Cleavage: {110} perfect, {110} perfect

Luminescence: none

Crystal system: triclinic

Main producing areas: Germany, the United States, Australia, Romania, Brazil, etc.

Uses: Because of its bright color, strong and compact quality, it is used for decoration and carving.

Gypsum

Gypsum

Chemical formula: CaSO4 · 2H2O

Mineral group: hydrated sulfates

Color: white, colorless, yellow-red (with impurities)

Streak: white

Transparency: transparent to translucent

Luster: vitreous, silky or nacreous

Fracture: conchoidal, sometimes fibrous

Hardness: 2

Density: 2.31-2.33

Brittleness: bending

Cleavage: {010} perfect, {100} distinct, {011} distinct

Crystal system: monoclinic

Crystal habit: tabular, fibrous, massive or fine granular

Main producing areas: USA, Canada, France, Germany, Britain, Spain, etc.

Uses: agricultural fertilizer, industrial materials, medical materials, building materials, food additives, painting, etc.

Garnet

Garnet

Chemical formula: (Mg/Mn/Ca/Fe2+)3(Al/Cr/Fe3+)2(SiO4)3

Chemical composition: silicate containing Al, Mg, Fe or Mn

Types: Pyrope, Almandine, Spessartite, Andradite, Grossular, Tsavorite, Hessonite and Uvarovite

Color: red, yellow, brown, green, black, etc.

Transparency: transparency to subtranslucent

Hardness: 6.5-7.5

Specific gravity: 3.6-4.2

Cleavage: none

Special optical effects: asterism, colour-changing, chatoyancy

Crystal habit: usually rhombic dodecahedron, tetragonal trisoctahedron

Main producing areas: Norway, Czech Republic, USA, Tanzania, China, Sri Lanka, Brazil, Madagascar, etc.

Uses: Garnet is used in cutting steel and other materials mixed with high-pressure water. Garnet sand is also used as a water purification medium.

Graphite

Graphite

Chemical formula: C

Density: 2.25 g/cm3

Boiling point: 4827 ℃

Melting point: 3652 ℃

Water-soluble: insoluble in water

Appearance: black solid

Hazard description: non-toxic; The respiratory disease will be caused if graphite dust inhalation.

Chemical properties: stable, corrosion-resistant, not easy to react with acid, alkali and other agents

Main producing areas: China, India, Brazil, Czech Republic, Canada, Mexico and other countries

Purification methods: flotation, alkali and acid method, hydrofluoric acid method, chloridizing roast, high-temperature method

Uses: pencil lead, refractory, conducting material, lubricating material, carbon manufacturing, radiation-proof material, etc.

Halite

Halite

Chemical formula: NaCl

Mineral group: halide mineral

Color: white or colorless (pure), pink, yellow, blue, orange-yellow, purple, etc. (with impurities)

Streak: white

Luster: vitreous or greasy

Fracture: conchoidal

Hardness: 2-2.5

Specific gravity: 2.1-2.2

Cleavage: {100} perfect, {010} perfect, {001} perfect

Main producing areas: China, UK, Germany, Canada, USA, Italy, etc.

Uses: Salt is a necessity of human life and has a wide range of uses in industry, agriculture and other fields. Besides being processed into refined salt for consumption, halite is also one of the most basic raw materials for the chemical industry, and is known as "mother of the chemical industry".

Almandine

Almandine

Chemical formula: Fe2+3Al2(SiO4)3

Color: red, orange, fuchsia, brown, black

Streak: white

Luster: vitreous or greasy

Fracture: conchoidal

Hardness: 7.5

Specific gravity: 3.85-4.20

Cleavage: none

Crystal system: isometric

Main producing areas: China, USA, Canada, UK, Germany, Austria, etc.

Uses: Because of its high hardness, it can be used as grinding material. Dark red and transparent almandine can be used as gems.

Torbernite

Torbernite

Chemical formula: Cu(UO2)2(PO4)2 · 12H2O

Streak: yellow

Luster: vitreous, nacreous (cleavage surface)

Fracture: uneven

Hardness: 2-2.5

Specific gravity: 3.22-3.60

Cleavage: {001} perfect, {100} distinct

Other properties: strong radioactivity

Distribution: weathering products of minerals in hydrothermal veins or pegmatite veins

Crystal system: tetragonal

Uses: When torbernite is piled up in large quantities, it has industrial value and forms lean ore of uranium oxide. Torbernite is bright emerald in the oxidation zone, so it is a good indicator for primary uranium deposits.

Sanidine

Sanidine

Chemical formula: K(AlSi3O8)

Color: colorless, white, green, blue-green, brown, grey-black, etc.

Transparency: transparent as water

Luster: vitreous, nacreous (cleavage surface)

Hardness: 6-6.5

Density: 2.30-2.70 g/cm3

Special optical effect: moonlight effect, chatoyancy, aventurescence, sun effect, iridescence

Crystal system: monoclinic

Main producing areas: Sri Lanka, Myanmar, India, Australia, Madagascar, Tanzania, USA and Brazil

Cassiterite

Cassiterite

Chemical formula: SnO2

Mineral group: oxide minerals

Color: bright dark brown, colorless, yellow and black

Transparency: opacity to transparency

Luster: adamantine to sub-adamantine

Hardness: 6-7

Density: 6.87-7.03 (gem-grade)

Cleavage: {100} perfect, {110} indistinct

Refractive index: 1.997-2.093 (+0.009, -0.006)

Birefringence: 0.096-0.098

Optical characteristics: uniaxial crystal, positive optical properties

Ultraviolet fluorescence: none

Uses: A small amount of cassiterite can be used to make gems, ornamental stones and collectibles. Cassiterite, which contains about 78% of tin, is an important mineral for tin extraction. In industry, tin can be used to make white iron, tin tubes, tin foil, various alloys and electroplating parts, and its oxide can be used to make dyes, enamel, porcelain and glass, etc.

Hsianghualite

Hsianghualite

Chemical formula: Ca3Li2(Be3Si3O12)F2

Color: colorless, oyster white

Transparency: transparent or translucent

Luster: vitreous

Hardness: 6.5

Specific gravity: 2.97-3

Relative density: 2.90-3.00

Cleavage: none

Realgar

Realgar

Chemical formula: As4S4

Color: orange

Luster: adamantine, greasy (fracture)

Optical characteristics: biaxial crystal, optical negative

Distribution: in low-temperature hydrothermal veins associated with orpiment, hydrothermal deposits and volcanic condensates

Crystal system: monoclinic

Main producing areas: USA, China

Clinical application: treatment of chronic bronchitis, bronchial asthma, tropical eosinophilia, herpes zoster, pterygium

Pyrophyllite

Pyrophyllite

Chemical formula: Al2Si4O10(OH)2

Mineral group: silicate minerals

Color: white with a little light yellow or light green

Transparency: translucent

Luster: vitreous

Hardness: 1-2

Density: 2.65-2.90 g/cm3

Distribution: metasomatic deposit of volcanic rocks

Crystal system: monoclinic

Crystal habit: dense massive, tabular, radiated aggregates

Uses: refractory, ceramic, electrical porcelain, crucible, glass fiber, etc.

Psilomelane

Psilomelane

Chemical formula: (Ba/H2O)2Mn5O10

Color: black to dark gray

Streak: light brown-black to black

Transparency: opacity

Luster: semi-metallic to dark

Hardness: 4-6

Specific gravity: 4.4-4.7

Crystal system: monoclinal or orthorhombic

Crystal habit: massive, botryoidal, stalactitic, reniform, mammillary, crustaceous, dendritic and earthy

Uses: an important ore for manganese smelting; used for making batteries, matches, printing paint, soap; colorants and decolourant for glass and ceramics; national defense industry, electronics industry, environmental protection, agriculture and animal husbandry and other industries.

Feldspar

Feldspar

Chemical formula: KAlSi3O8

Color: white, meat red, dark, green, etc.

Luster: vitreous

Hardness: 6-6.5

Weight: 2.55-2.75

Distribution: igneous rock, metamorphic rock, sedimentary rock

Crystal system: monoclinic or triclinic

Crystal habit: lath-shaped

Uses: As the aluminosilicate mineral of alkali metals such as potassium, sodium, calcium and barium, it is mainly used for making ceramics, enamel, glass raw materials, abrasive tools potash fertilizer, etc.

Cairngorm

Cairngorm

Chemical formula: SiO2

Mineral composition: Quartz cairngorm is a kind of solid sol, belonging to colloidal.

Color: gray, brown to black

Structure: crystalline

Hardness: 7

Main producing areas: Brazil, South America, Africa, etc.

Baryte

Baryte

Chemical formula: BaSO4

Chemical composition: mainly barium sulfate, sometimes containing calcium and other impurities

Mineral group: sulfate minerals

Color: colorless and transparent (pure), various colors (with impurities)

Streak: white

Luster: vitreous or nacreous (cleavage surface)

Hardness: 3-3.5

Specific weight: 4.0-4.6

Crystal system: orthorhombic

Purification technology: hand-picking method, gravity separation, magnetic separation, flotation, calcination, leaching, etc.

Uses: weighting agent for drilling mud, various barium compounds, filler, cement industry, road construction, etc.

Natural platinum

Natural platinum

Types: raw ore and ore sand

Color: silver white to dark grey

Streak: white or silvery gray

Transparency: opacity

Luster: metallic

Fracture: hackly

Hardness: 4-4.5

Density: 15-19

Cleavage: none

Melting point: 1774 ℃

Property: ductility

Distribution: in basic igneous rock or ultrabasic igneous rock such as olivine gabbro, pyroxenite, peridotite and dunite

Crystal system: isometric

Main producing areas: Norilsk in Russia; Sudbury in Ontario, Canada; Transvaal in South Africa; Parts of Montana and Oregon in the USA; Western Australia.

Uses: Natural platinum is the main source of platinum. It is often used to make ornaments such as rings, bracelets and necklaces; for making high-grade chemical ware, or special alloy with nickel, etc.; used in the electric power industry, national defence industry, automobile contact reaction converter, etc.

Natural sulfur

Natural sulfur

Color: yellow

Streak: Light yellow

Luster: adamantine (crystal plane) and greasy (fracture surface)

Hardness: 1-2

Specific gravity: 2.05-2.08

Impurities: arsenic, tellurium, selenium, titanium, calcite, etc.

Uses: Natural sulfur is the basic materials of the chemical industry, mainly used in the manufacture of sulfuric acid, the rest is used for chemical products, such as detergent, synthetic resin, dye, medicine, petroleum catalyst, titanium white, etc. Its non-acid applications include papermaking, rayon, pharmaceuticals, dyes and glass.

Natural copper

Natural copper

Color: brownish-black or green

Streak: copper red

Transparency: opacity

Luster: metallic

Hardness: 2.5-3

Dense degree: 8.4-8.95

Cleavage: none

Other properties: good electrical and thermal conductivity

Distribution: primary hydrothermal deposit, lower oxidation zone of copper sulfide deposit and sandstone copper deposit

Main producing areas: Lake Superior in the USA; Turinsk in Russia; Montecatini in Italy; Daiye in Hubei Province China, etc.

Uses: copper ore mining; Copper and its alloys are widely used in electrical appliances, vehicles, marine industry and civil appliances.

Natural silver

Natural silver

Chemical composition: Au, Cu, Hg, etc.

Streak: silver

Transparency: opacity

Luster: metallic

Hardness: 2.5

Specific gravity: 10.1-11.1

Other properties: strong ductility, good electrical and thermal conductivity

Distribution: in secondary enrichment zones of middle and low-temperature hydrothermal deposits and sulfide deposits, as well as volcanic deposits and metamorphosed deposits.

Main producing areas: Kongsberg in Norway; Freiberg and Schneeberg in Saxony, Germany; Cobalt and Keeley in Ontario, Canada; and GreatBearLake in Columbia, British.

Uses: making alloy, welding flux, silver foil, silver salt, chemical instrument, sliver coin, etc. Since ancient times, silver has circulated as a precious metal in the form of currency.

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Author : Jordan Jordan is the writer of the blog with a broad knowledge of this industry. Most importantly, he hopes to help you in your projects sincerely.

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