Difference Between Metallic and Non-Metallic Minerals

Dhristi JEE 2022-24

Introduction to Minerals

It is quite surprising to know that around 4,000 minerals are available in nature. Especially under the Earth at different geographical locations, different temperatures, etc., every metal is important and its applications. While some minerals are valuable, and some minerals are not valuable. The value will be given to a particular metal based on its application, availability, properties, etc. Every metal has its value beginning from the rock salt to a Kohinoor diamond.

What are Minerals?

Minerals are substances obtained naturally and are called as such due to some inorganic chemical properties. These inorganic chemical compounds are available in three different states. These states are known as the states of matter. They are - liquids, solids, and gaseous. 


Types of Minerals

Based on the composition of a mineral, they are classified into three different types. They are- 

  • Energy minerals

  • Metallic minerals

  • Nonmetallic minerals


Energy Minerals:

The energy minerals are also called fossil fuels. The minerals which provide energy are known as energy minerals. Natural gas, coal, petroleum are a few examples of energy minerals.


Minerals and their Classification

Earth has different minerals treasured under it at various geographical locations. For example, Arab countries are very well famous for the extraction of oil out of their soil. The diverse minerals are present under the earth, divided into different categories. We categorised these minerals except oil to metals and non-metals minerals. 


Metallic Minerals: 

The minerals which include metals in them are known as metallic minerals. The extraction of minerals can provide these metals. It involves huge processes, and these metallic minerals are highly valuable in their applications. Iron ore, bauxite, etc., are some examples. The metallic minerals are again classified into two subtypes. They are-

  • Ferrous Minerals: If the metallic minerals contain ironic elements within them, they are known as ferrous minerals. 

  • Non - Ferrous Minerals: If the metallic minerals do not contain any ironic elements, they are said to be non-ferrous minerals.

Nonmetallic Minerals: 

The minerals which don't comprise any metals are known as nonmetallic minerals. Salt, diamond, mica, etc. are examples.

These are the various types of minerals. Now let's see the difference between metallic and nonmetallic minerals in various aspects.

Metallic Minerals

Non-Metallic Minerals

  • The chemical composition of metallic minerals includes metals.

  • The appearance of metallic minerals is lustrous.

  • Igneous rocks and metamorphic rocks are the sources of metallic compounds.


  • The metallic minerals are ductile.

  • Metallic minerals produce other metals during the melting process. 

  • Aluminium, iron ore, gold, silver, etc., are examples of metallic minerals. 

  • The metallic minerals are available in a solid-state only.

  • The chemical composition of non-metallic minerals doesn't include any metals.

  • The appearance of non-metallic minerals is not lustrous.

  • The sedimentary rocks are the sources of non-metallic minerals.

  • The non-metallic minerals are not ductile.

  • The non-metallic minerals may not produce any metals even in the melting process.

  • Salt, diamond, potash, etc., are examples of non-metallic minerals.

  • The non-metallic minerals are available in all three states of matter.


Hence, minerals are the precious gifts given by nature to mankind. Every type of mineral has its significance. The value of the mineral depends on the availability, applications, properties, etc. As we have seen, there are three different types of minerals - energy minerals, metallic and non-metallic minerals. However, metallic and non-metallic minerals have several similarities and dissimilarities. The differences between metallic and nonmetallic minerals have been explained clearly. So students need to understand and observe the type, property of a mineral to utilize them more effectively.

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FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. What are metallic minerals?

Minerals that contain different metals are called metallic minerals. You can divide the metallic minerals into two types, ferrous and non-ferrous metallic minerals. Ferrous metallic consists of ironic minerals, and the latter do not have any ironic minerals. Some of the common metallic ores are iron ore, bauxite, gold, silver, etc.

2. What are the benefits of learning the difference between metallic and non-metallic minerals?

Differences help you define the topics clearly, and it comforts you in understanding or consuming the relevant content readily. Metallic and Non-metallic minerals are not hard to study if you know the common differences that separate them. Once you differentiate the topics, it offers you a clear perspective of the minerals. For example, one of the most famous differences between metallic and non-metallic minerals is lustre. Metallic minerals shine when light falls on them, whereas non-metallic minerals do not. 

3. Why do we need to save minerals?

Minerals are available beneath the soil at various locations on the earth. Today, we are exploring all the possible places where there are minerals. In India, Jamshedpur, a famous place for coal. We use that cola to make steel and generate electricity. Though these minerals are available in limited quantities, scientists have predicted they may vanish in the coming decades, and the coming generation will have no resources that we have today. To provide a better future for our younger brother and sister, we need to use minerals wisely, and also, it helps keep mother earth a safe place to live.

4. Explain the properties of metallic minerals?

The metallic mineral is a classification of mineral which produces metal upon melting it. It has several properties which make these metallic minerals more valuable and highly beneficial. The properties of a metallic mineral are:

  • The metallic minerals act as good conductors for both heat and electricity.

  • The metallic minerals are not strong enough to hold the electrons. They can lose electrons very easily.

  • The metallic minerals have a shiny and hard surface on the outer part on their own.

  • The metallic minerals are available in the solid state at room temperature.

  • The metallic minerals can be moulded and stored in the form of sheets and wires easily.

5. What are the properties of non-metallic minerals?

The non-metallic minerals are quite contrasting to the metallic minerals. These are another classification of minerals, the minerals that do have any metal substance in them. The properties of non-metallic minerals are as follows:

  • The non-metallic minerals are very poor conductors of both heat and electricity.

  • The non-metallic minerals have a low melting point as well as a low boiling point.

  • The non-metallic minerals can easily gain electrons.

  • The non-metallic minerals don't have any metallic components.

  • The non-metallic minerals do not have a shiny surface.

  • They are solid and brittle.