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What are Common Ore Examples?

Last updated date: 01st Mar 2024
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What are Ores?

Metals occur naturally on earth, but when we give this a deeper thought, metals are found below the earth, hidden in special rocks which are called ores. Metals such as iron, copper, and tin have to be extracted from their ores.

Generally, pure metals are weak in structure, they cannot directly be used in industry. Metals are mixed with other metals, which are then called alloys. For example, tin breaks easily, while lead is a soft metal. However, together, tin and lead make a very tough and strong alloy which is called pewter.

Only a few metals occur naturally in their pure state. Most metals are locked up within minerals and rocks known as ores. Metals are extracted from their ores by heating the ores or by passing an electric current through the ores.

What are the Types of Ores?

Different kinds of ores are found in nature. The four primary types of ores are halide ores, carbonate ores, sulphide ores, and oxide ores. 

  • Bauxite is an oxide ore, and aluminium is extracted from it. 

  • Rock salt is a halide ore, limestone is a carbonate ore, and cinnabar is a sulphide ore. 

  • Sodium is extracted from rock salt, calcium from limestone, and mercury is extracted from cinnabar.




Metallurgy is a field of science that deals with the extraction of metals from their ores which naturally occur in nature. The electronic devices and their batteries are composed of several metals which are present in the components and circuitry of the devices.


Types of ores are classified based on how the ores are formed. Some ores form due to the crystallisation and cooling of minerals in lavas or magmas. These are called volcanic or magmatic ores.

Copper, iron, and nickel ores are usually formed from volcanic deposits. Carbonate alkaline ores are formed due to igneous processes other than volcanic activity. Some diamonds and other rare earth element ores are a part of the carbonate alkaline groups.
As one can imagine, if ores can be formed as a result of volcanic processes, then ores can also be formed due to sedimentary or metamorphic processes. Sedimentary ore deposits contain platinum, gold, diamond-containing ores, and also zinc and tin that are found in sedimentary environments. 

Some metamorphic ores comprise iron oxides, silver, and lead. Ores are also formed due to hydrothermal processes. These include exposure of minerals and rocks to extremely hot water, generally near hot springs or oceanic hydrothermal vents. A majority of the world’s uranium ores and gold ores are formed due to hydrothermal processes.

Mining - Uses of Ores



The process of extracting metal ores found deep within the earth is known as mining. These metal ores are found inside the earth’s crust in varying quantities. It is only because metals are extracted from ores that mankind has progressed so far.

Important Metals and Important Ores - List




Bauxite, Felspar, Alunite, Corundum, Kaolin, Cryolite 


Magnesite, Epsom salt, Carnallite, Dolomite, Kieserite


Silestone, Strontianite


Horn silver, Ruby silver


Zincite, Zinc blende




Limonite, Siderite, Copper Pyrites, Hematite, Magnetite


Pitchblende, Carnetite








Silvenites, Calaverite


Ores are deposits of one or more precious metals that are found in the earth’s crust. The important ore deposits are iron, silver, and copper. These metals are very essential for trade and are utilised by various industries. For example, copper, which is an excellent electricity conductor, is used in electrical wiring.

FAQs on What are Common Ore Examples?

1. How are ores extracted?

When an ore is extracted, it contains several materials and is not directly useful. So, first it needs to go through a scientific process. The valuable minerals are segregated from the other non-useful materials. In flotation, a compound is added which attracts the valuable material and then floats so that it can be easily separated. Another process is smelting where the rock is heated at temperatures more than 900° C. Smelting segregates minerals into layers by which valuable minerals can be extracted.

2. What is metallurgy?

Metallurgy is the method of obtaining metals from metal ores. It is a science of extracting minerals from their raw ores and then using the metals for human needs. Metallurgy involves the study of the chemical and physical behaviour of metals including alloys, compounds, and other metallic elements. It has its history back in thousands of years when man first used metals to make things such as weapons and utensils.