Difference Between Metallic and Non-metallic Minerals

What are Metallic Minerals?

Those minerals which contain one or more metallic elements are called metallic minerals. Valuable metals are extracted from them after breaking metallic minerals and being chemically processed. They are classified into two categories ferrous ores and non-ferrous ores. The metallic minerals with iron as a significant component are ferrous ores. The metallic minerals which do not have iron as a significant component are non-ferrous ores.

Excellent source of the production of metals such as platinum group metals: nickel, cobalt, copper, gold, silver, and zinc. The most important metallic minerals are nickel, copper, and zinc. They have a wide range of uses. They conduct heat and electricity efficiently and therefore have a wide range of usage in industrial applications. 

The most plenteous metallic mineral on earth is aluminum. They are primarily used in the automobile industry, electric industry, building industry, and in the manufacturing of cans and bottles. Copper is widely used in electronic components, electrical wires, jewelry making, etc. Gold is a very lustrous metal widely used in the electronic industry. Metallic mineral compounds have a shine, so they are also used in jewelry manufacturing.

What are Non-metallic Minerals?

The minerals that, during the process of metal extraction, do not act as raw materials are known as non-metallic metals. This group of metals is essential for economic benefit, for example, diamond, mica, salt, potash, etc. We can classify them into two categories by considering their nature of origin and the species of their content: organic and inorganic. The former encompasses primary fossil fuels that are characterized by their genesis in the waste of plants and animals.

On the base of the species of their content, auxiliary metallurgical materials, ceramic and glass materials, and building materials are the types. They are usually found in sedimentary rocks and abided in young fold mountains. The stone, clay, glass, and concrete products industry were the old names for non-metallic mineral products in the US. They can not conduct heat and electricity and are a great source of energy production.

When we heat limestone and clay at high temperatures, a compound, clinker, is produced. This compound is finely grounded and used in the manufacturing of cement products. They are brittle, have a low melting point and high ionization energy, and no metal substance exists in them. Their appearance is dull and will be brighter with the usage of colors. They are widely used in building materials, manufacturing chemicals, and fertilizers.

Difference Between Metallic Minerals and Non-metallic Minerals

  1. Metallic minerals have a significant sheen, whereas non-metallic minerals have no shine in appearance.
  2. The malleability and ductility are very high in metallic minerals, whereas it is deficient in non-metallic minerals.
  3. Metallic minerals are hard to break, whereas non-metallic minerals are easily breakable and are relatively softer.
  4. Metallic minerals conductors conduct heat and electricity efficiently, whereas non-metallic minerals do not.
  5. In metallic minerals, metal elements are present, whereas, in non-metallic minerals, metal elements are not present.

Comparison Between Metallic Minerals and Non-metallic Minerals

Parameters of ComparisonMetallic MineralsNon-metallic Minerals
SourcesIgneous and Metamorphic Rock FormationsSedimentary Rocks and Fold Mountains
Physical PropertiesHard & LustrousSoft & Non-lustrous
Ductility & MalleabilityHighLow
Post-Melting ResultsNew ProductsNo New Products


  1. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-020-15926-1
  2. https://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/2/2/400