|MadSci Network: Earth Sciences|
Dear Ester: Your question is: What is hematite and copper? And Where can you find copper and hematite?. Hematite and copper are both naturally occurring metallic (metal) minerals. Hematite is a form of iron with the chemical formula of Fe2O3. Hematite is a common component of weathered rock materials (red colored soils or rust appearing rocks) and occurs as a sedimentary ore (for iron metal) in very large quantities. Iron is one of the most produced metals of our industrial society with its primary uses as iron metal and steel. Hematite is found in mineable quantities in many places in the United States with huge deposits found to the south and west of Lake Superior (called the Lake Superior District and is found in parts of the states of Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota). Other large deposit are mined in the countries of Brazil, Venezuela, Australia, China, and Canada. Copper is a native metallic mineral. Native means that copper can occur in nature by itself as metallic copper, however, copper it is more commonly found as some form of copper compound with other elements such as oxygen, sulfur, or carbonate Copper was one of the first metals used by man because when combined with tin it makes a metal called bronze. Bronze tools have been found in the eastern Mediterranean countries which are believed to be 7,000 years old. Copper has many industrial uses and is a very important industrial metal (most electrical wire is copper). Copper can be found in many different types of ore deposits and large copper mines are found in the United States, Canada, Japan, Chile, in Central Africa, and Russia. Your local library or university geology and/or geography departments are good sources for further studies about mineral and mineral deposits. If you have any additional questions about hematite or copper, please send me additional questions. Robert Chesson
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