You are on page 1of 5

Difference Between Metallic and Nonmetallic Minerals

November 18, 2015

by admin
3 min read

Main Difference Metallic vs Non-metallic

A mineral is a chemical compound which occurs naturally as an earthy substance and is
inorganic in nature. The chemical and physical properties of minerals, as well as their
geological placement, make them different from each other. Several types of minerals are
aggregated in theformation of rocks. When these rocks undergo changes from one type to
another due to the changes in temperature and pressure, the structure and properties of
the rocks minerals change. As the names suggest, when a mineral contains metallic
elements it is called a metallic mineral and when it doesnt contain metallic elements
it is called a non-metallic mineral. This can be identified as the main
difference between metallic and non-metallic minerals.

What are Metallic Minerals

Metallic minerals contain metal elements in their chemical formula. The metal ores
Some common
minerals include Chalcopyrite, Iron, Copper, Gold, etc. Chalcopyrite is the most common
Copper mineral and is an Iron-Copper Sulphide. Therefore, metallic minerals can be a
homogenous ore of one kind of metal as in the case of Iron, Copper, and Gold. It can also
contain a mix of metals bound together with another inorganic species as in the case of
Chalcopyrite. However, in the case of highly oxidizable species such as Iron, the oxidized
form will also be present.
Metallic minerals usually originate from igneous rocks. An igneous rock is a type of rock
that is formed by the cooling and solidification of magma or lava. Magma is made by
melting existing rocks under very high temperature and low pressure. It is possible to
extract the metals from their ores when the metallic minerals are melted. Furthermore,
these minerals are found to be ductile. In general, these minerals are able to preserve their
own shine.


What are Non-Metallic Minerals

Non-Metallic Minerals do not contain metal elements in their inorganic chemical
formula. Some common examples include; Clay, Diamond, Dolomite, Gypsum, Mica,
Amethyst and Quartz, etc., Some minerals among these non-metallic minerals belong to
the category of precious/ semi-precious jewellery material. These materials are not ductile
and can be broken into pieces upon a collision.

Quartz Amethyst

Unlike in the case of metallic minerals, melting the non-metallic minerals would not
produce useful material. Non-metallic minerals are derived from sedimentary
rocks. Sedimentary rocks are formed through the aggregation of diverse materials such as
minerals, other rock particles, parts of organisms and other organic compounds. Also, they
do not have a shine of their own.

Difference Between Metallic Minerals and NonMetallic Minerals

Metallic minerals are minerals that contain metals.
Non-metallic minerals are minerals that do not contain any metal elements in their

Metallic minerals have a shine of their own.
Non-metallic minerals do not have a shine of their own.

Metallic minerals are associated with igneous rocks.
Non-metallic minerals are associated with sedimentary rocks.


Metallic minerals are quite ductile.

Non-metallic minerals are not ductile and can be broken upon a collision.

Extraction of Material
Metals can be extracted by melting the metallic minerals.
Non-metallic minerals do not yield new products upon melting.

Image Courtesy:
Pyrite-Chalcopyrite-Sphalerite-40297 by Rob Lavinsky, (CC BY-SA
3.0) via Commons
Quartz Amethyst by Eric Hunt Own work. (CC BY-SA 2.5) via Wikimedia Commons