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Minerals: An organic or inorganic natural substance with distinct chemical and physical properties is referred to as a mineral. Minerals are chemical substances that exist in nature and have atoms organised in three dimensions. Each mineral has a distinct appearance and set of qualities depending on the kind of elements present and how they are arranged. When organised in different ways, the same chemical elements exhibit various properties.
A mineral is made up of at least two different elements. However, single-element minerals are also occasionally found. These include sulphur, copper, silver, gold, graphite, etc. All minerals originate from the hot magma of the earth.
Different combinations of the elements present in the lithosphere result in the formation of different kinds of minerals. The earth’s crust contains about 2000 minerals, although the majority of them are members of six main mineral families known as major rock-forming minerals. The primary source of all minerals is the molten magma deep inside the earth. Mineral crystals are created as the magma cools. Rocks are created when a systemic chain of minerals consolidates in order.
Minerals are formed anywhere, Formation of minerals chiefly depends on Physical and Chemical conditions in their surviving environments.
1. In Hydrothermal Environments
Water is important in the formation of minerals even in the driest regions of the planet. Hot water is necessary for hydrothermal processes because it dissolves minerals and moves their parts down cracks and through permeable rocks. The dissolved materials may be deposited in cracks in the surrounding rocks, creating veins or pockets of minerals, as the water moves, cools, or other conditions change.
2. In Igneous and Metamorphic Rocks
Minerals can be found in fissures, fractures, faults, and joints in igneous and metamorphic rocks. The majority of minerals found in igneous and metamorphic rocks are created when minerals in their liquid, molten, and gaseous states are forced upward through cavities and toward the Earth’s surface. As they ascend, they cool and solidify. Typically, volcanic vents or vertical thrusts create them.
In igneous and metamorphic rocks, minor mineral concentrations are known as veins, and massive mineral concentrations are known as lodes. Veins and lodes are the sources of major metallic minerals like tin, copper, gold, zinc, and lead.
3. In Pegmatitic Environments
A unique type of igneous rock known as a pegmatite is characterised by huge, often enormous, interconnecting crystals, some of which are uncommon minerals containing rare elements. Pegmatites are an exception to the rule of large crystals being a sign that the lava cooled slowly, allowing crystals to develop for a long time.
They can solidify quickly, sometimes in just a few days, under special conditions, most notably enrichment in water. Minerals from pegmatites are used to make gemstones, industrial materials, and ores for rare elements.
4. Weathering Environments
Earth is a dynamic place. The weathering process alters exposed rocks and minerals near the surface as a result of exposure to air, water, ice, and life. Erosion, or the movement of weathered materials by flowing water, wind, ice, and gravity, frequently occurs in conjunction with weathering. Over millions of years, weathering has produced the clays, soils, and salts necessary for the survival of all species on Earth, including our own. Weathering works to counterbalance Earth’s dynamic construction processes.
Classification of Minerals
Minerals are classified as Metallic and Non- Metallic.
Metallic minerals are malleable and ductile and are typically found in igneous rocks. These metal-based minerals can be categorised into three different subtypes:
- Precious metals, including platinum, gold, and silver.
- Ferrous metals are alloys of iron and other metals.
- Non-ferrous metals include copper, aluminium, lead, zinc, tin, and other metals besides iron.
These minerals are made up of non-metals like silicon, phosphorus, and sulphur. Cement, for instance, is a combination of non-metallic materials. Non-metallic minerals are typically found in sedimentary rocks and aren’t ductile or malleable.
Below are the Major Mineral Maps of India:
Characteristics of Minerals
|External Crystal Form||A mineral’s external shape is based on how its molecules are arranged internally. It could be hexagonal, tabular, tetrahedral, cubic, etc.|
|Transparency||When light rays can seep through to the objects, it is said to be transparent. When light rays pass through but become diffused, making the objects invisible, the material is translucent. When light cannot flow through, something is opaque.|
|Lustrous||Lustre is a term used to describe an object’s sheen. Every mineral has a unique sheen, such as metallic, glossy, velvety, etc.|
|Cleavage||The ability to split along particular planes is known as cleavage. In crystals, there is one plane where the atoms’ bonds are weaker than on other planes.|
|Hardness||A mineral’s resistance to scratching serves as a proxy for its hardness. The Mohs scale is a widely used standard scale that can be used to convey the hardness of minerals in a uniform way.|
|Fracture||When the interior molecular arrangement is so complicated that there are no molecular planes, the crystal will fracture unevenly.|
|Specific Gravity||Specific gravity is the ratio of a specific mineral’s weight to that of an equivalent volume of water. Quartz has a specific gravity of 2.65.|
Mineral Resources UPSC
A mineral is a natural substance of organic or inorganic origin with definite chemical and physical properties, Classified as metallic and non-metallic minerals. The origin of all minerals is the molten magma deep inside the earth. Mineral crystals are created as the magma cools. Rocks are created when a systemic chain of minerals is consolidated in order.
An essential component of the UPSC curriculum is geography. Using these IAS exam notes on Geography can help candidates do well In both the prelims and mains exams. You can read all about minerals and classification, mineral classification, and the distribution of minerals in Indian states in this article. This is a crucial topic for the UPSC examination.
Here is the complete list of the state-wise major Mineral Distribution:
|State||Mineral (Metal &Non-Metal)|
|Rajasthan||Lead & Zinc|
|Bauxite (Aluminium Ore)|
|Chromite (Chromium Ore)|
|Nagaland and Assam||Natural Gas|
|Himachal Pradesh||Rock Salt|
Q) What is a mineral?
Ans. A mineral is a natural substance of organic or inorganic origin with definite chemical and physical properties.
Q) What are the two types of minerals?
Ans. Minerals are classified as Metallic and Non- Metallic.
Q) What are Metallic Minerals?
Ans. Minerals classified as metallic can be melted to create new products. These are malleable and ductile.
Q) What are examples of Metallic Minerals?
Ans. Iron, Copper, Gold, and Silver are some examples of Metallic Minerals
Q) Where is Gold found in India?
Ans. Gold is found in the Panna region of Madhya Pradesh.
Q) What is the Primary source of Minerals?
Ans. Hot magma is the primary source of minerals.
Other Indian Geography Topics
Other Fundamental Geography Topics