Q:

Where does metal come from?

A:

The Sustainable Design Award explains that most pure metals, such as silver, copper and aluminum, come from the Earth’s crust. They are often extracted from ores and minerals that occur in rocks. Pure metals are mixed with other metals to form alloys and improve their properties.

Metals are generally classified as ferrous and non-ferrous. Ferrous metals, such as cast iron, carbon steel and mild steel, have iron in them. On the other hand, non-ferrous metals, such as lead, tin, aluminum and copper, do not contain iron. Scientists have discovered around 100 pure metals and numerous alloys, which have a variety of properties. Mining ore-bearing rocks is the first stage in creating metals. Miners use furnaces and electrolytic processes to extract metal from the rock. The metal undergoes further processing before it can be used.

Huge concentrations of metallic minerals are known as ore bodies, and they are usually associated with igneous intrusions, according to the Non-Ferrous Alliance. Most metals are typically found as compounds, while others are found as native elements. Although rarely pure, native metals are often natural alloys. Gold, silver, mercury and copper occur as native elements. Rarer metals, such as osmium, iridium and platinum, also occur as native elements.

Learn More

Related Questions

  • Q:

    Is magnesium a metal?

    A:

    Magnesium is a metal. Specifically, it is an alkaline earth metal. Its atomic number is 12, and it was first isolated by the British chemist Humphrey Davy in 1808.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Where do rocks come from?

    A:

    Rocks come from magma, which is the molten material found within the earth. When magma cools, either above or below the earth's surface, it crystallizes and forms the igneous rocks that can later be changed into metamorphic or sedimentary rocks. Magma, which can be considered molten rock, is referred to as lava when it reaches the earth's surface.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Where does tin come from?

    A:

    Today, most tin comes from southeast Asia and countries such as China, Indonesia, Peru, Brazil and Bolivia. Although tin was mined in England and the United States at one point in history, most tin is now found in the southern hemisphere, as there are no remaining substantial deposits in the northern hemisphere. Most countries in this region import tin from other countries, according to the Minerals Education Coalition.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Where does mica come from?

    A:

    Mica is a metamorphic mineral that comes from volcanoes and hydrothermal vents. It is easily recognized by its thin crystal layers that peel off in sheets. Mica is very shiny and is responsible for the glittery effect in composite rocks such as granite, gneiss and slate.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore