Difference Between Metallic and Non-Metallic Minerals

Minerals and their Classification

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.

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, call, petroleum are a few examples of energy 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 see the difference between metallic and nonmetallic minerals in various aspects. 

Distinguish Between Metallic and Nonmetallic Minerals

The meaning itself is quite contrasting for metallic and nonmetallic minerals. In other functionalities also, we can observe several differences between metallic and nonmetallic minerals. Let see all the differences between metallic and nonmetallic minerals in detail. 

  1. The chemical composition of metallic minerals includes metals. On the other hand, the chemical composition of non-metallic minerals doesn't include any metals.

  2. The appearance of metallic minerals is lustrous. Whereas the appearance of non-metallic minerals is not lustrous.

  3. Igneous rocks and metamorphic rocks are the sources of metallic compounds. The sedimentary rocks are the sources of non-metallic minerals.

  4. The metallic minerals are ductile while the non-metallic minerals are not ductile.

  5. Metallic minerals produce other metals during the melting process. The non-metallic minerals may not produce any metals even in the melting process.

  6. Aluminium, iron ore, gold, silver, etc., are examples of metallic minerals. On the other hand, salt, diamond, potash, etc., are examples of non-metallic minerals.

  7. The metallic minerals are available in a solid-state only. But in contrast, the non-metallic minerals are available in all three states of matter.


These are the differences between metallic minerals and nonmetallic minerals. Students can understand more about metallic and non-metallic minerals by observing their properties and applications. 


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.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q1. Explain the Properties of a Metallic Mineral.

Ans. 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.

 These are the various properties of metallic minerals.

Q2. Explain the Properties of Non-Metallic Minerals.

Ans.  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.

Q3. What is the Importance of the Conservation of Mineral Resources?

Ans. Based on the physical and chemical properties of a mineral, it can be used in various sectors. Every mineral has its significance. For instance, if we take aluminium, it is strong, hard, and has high durability too. That's the reason it can be used in manufacturing aircraft, automobiles, cars, etc. All types of mineral resources are precious for mankind, and every human being should strive to conserve those mineral resources for future generations.

Necessary steps to be taken for conserving the mineral resources are - 

  • We should use the minerals in a sustainable and organized manner. 

  • We should not waste or destroy any minerals.

  • Recycling all metals is appreciable.

  • Searching for alternative renewable substitutes for the metals which are available in less quantity in nature.

  • Research and development should be done to improve the awareness of using low-grade metal resources at a low cost. It reduces both the cost and usage of metals. Technology should try to explore this dual profitability.

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