Q:

Where does metal come from?

A:

Quick Answer

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.

Know More

Full Answer

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 about Geology

Related Questions

  • Q:

    Where does limestone come from?

    A:

    Limestone comes from either the accumulation of organic debris of shells, fecal matter, algae and corals or from dissolved calcium carbonate depositing on the seafloor. It is primarily made of calcium carbonate in the form of the mineral, calcite. Limestone generally forms in clear, warm, shallow marine environments.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is the toughest metal on earth?

    A:

    The toughest or hardest metal on earth is maraging steel, which is a mixture of metals including titanium, cobalt, nickel and molybdenum. The metal is manufactured through a process that involves high temperature heating in order to mix the various components.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What metal is more precious than platinum?

    A:

    The element rhodium is more precious than platinum. According to the U.S. Geological Survey's 2010 Summary of Mineral Commodities, the average price of platinum was $1,187. As of 2014, the world retailer of precious metals, Kitco, lists the average value of rhodium at $1,442 per ounce.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Where do minerals come from?

    A:

    Minerals come from the Earth’s crust, and they are found in various places throughout the world. Geological processes, such as metamorphic, sedimentary and igneous processes, are responsible for the concentration of minerals. Mineral deposits form into different shapes and sizes depending on the location and process of concentration.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore