MadSci Network: Earth Sciences

Re: What is Hematite and copper?

Date: Thu Jan 21 11:39:19 1999
Posted By: Robert Chesson, Geologist (Certified Professional Geologist), Foothill Engineering Consultants
Area of science: Earth Sciences
ID: 915004030.Es

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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