Difference Between Ore and Mineral

Ore vs Mineral

Mineralogy is the study of minerals. More than 4000 minerals have been discovered, and they have a crystalline structure. Inside the earth, due to heat and various other reactions, minerals and rocks melt together. When they are cooled slowly, crystals form. When this cooling happens over thousands of years, larger crystals may form. These are combined with various types of elements and make ores. Through mining, people dig these deposits and use them for various purposes. Other than underground minerals, there are some in the earths’ surface. These crystals are formed when the melted rocks and minerals come up from the underground and cool in the surface. Other than their economic values, minerals are important for plant and animal life too. Minerals are non renewable resources, and it is our responsibility to use them sustainably. These are highly valuable resources and have many uses, which again make them important.


Minerals are present in the natural environment. They can be found on earths’ surface and underground. They are homogenous solids, and they have regular structures. Minerals are found in rocks, ores and natural mineral deposits. For example, hematite and magnetite are found in iron ores. Minerals like gems and diamonds are rare. There are a large number of minerals, and they can be identified by studying their shape, color, structure and properties. Some minerals are shiny (e.g. gold, silver) and some are not. Cleavage is the way minerals split apart naturally. Some minerals split into cubes, and some are split to irregular shapes. To measure the hardness of a mineral, Mohs scale is used. It is a 1-10 scale, and diamond is rated as 10 in that scale which is very harder than talc, which is rated as 1.


Ores contain minerals in a form of rock. Mostly ores contain minerals with metal elements. For example, there are iron ores, magnesium ores, gold ores etc. Sometimes, the metals are present as elements (not forming compounds) in ores and, in some ores, compounds like oxides, sulfides, silicates are found. Gold, hematite, argentite, magnetite, beryl, galena, and chalcocite are some of the important ore minerals. When ore is accumulated over time, it makes an ore deposit. An ore deposit contains only one type of ore. Ore deposits are classified as hydrothermal epigenetic deposits, granite-related hydrothermal, Nickel-cobalt-platinum deposits, volcanic-related deposits, metamorphically reworked deposits, carbonatite-alkaline igneous related, sedimentary deposits, sedimentary hydrothermal deposits, and astrobleme related ores. Ore deposits are extracted through mining.


What is the difference between Ore and Mineral?

• Ore contains minerals.

• All ores are minerals, but not all minerals are ores.

• Ores are mineral deposits whereas mineral is a native form in which metals exist.

• Ores are used to extract metals economically. Therefore, in ores, large amount of metals are present.

• Ores can be defined as of economical importance whereas minerals are more of scientific importance.