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Gold ore

Ore ( plural ores ) is a mineral mixture mined from the earth's crust and usually additionally mechanically and chemically processed , which historically was mined solely because of its metal content in order to process it for tools and the like. The Copper Age , the Bronze Age and the Iron Age indirectly owe their names to this raw material.

Ore consists of the usable ore minerals and the non-usable gangue . The extraction or mining, above or below ground, and the further usability of the ores is determined by the geological occurrence of the minerals, their distributive availability and the technological progress of mining or the subsequent economic operations, such as metal production and processing . The Lübeck Emil Possehl was once the largest Erzhändler Europe.

Today the mining and extraction of a great deal more minerals from the soil to ores takes place, since the chemical and physical usability is technologically more advanced. In some cases, economically usable minerals such. B. to non-metals such as sulfur, referred to as ore, but on the other hand also as mineral raw materials.

Etymology and Definitions

The word "Erz" (not directly related to the adjective "Ehern" in the sense of "iron" derived from Middle High German / Old High German ër , "Erz", derived from ërin ) comes from the Old High German aruz (zi) , meaning "ore" or . "Metal", and may originally be a borrowing from Sumerian urud (u) , "copper".

Ore is a term used in economics today . Whether a mineral deposit is designated as an ore deposit depends solely on the profitability of the mining. This also includes the ores that have been mined in the course of history. Since economic efficiency is the only determining factor, mineral deposits that currently appear uninteresting could definitely be classified as deposits and mined in times of resource scarcity .

“Ores are naturally occurring mineral aggregates of economic interest, from which one or more components of value can be extracted through processing. Mostly these are minerals that contain more or less metallic components. "

- Definition according to the UK Institution of Mining and Metallurgy

Nevertheless, in common parlance the term is mainly associated with metallic components. The definition according to James F. Kemp 1909 is still valid in principle:

"Ore is a more or less pace verwachsenes, metalliferous minerals or mineral dogfight that - from the standpoint of miner viewed or processor - with profits reduced, or can be further processed profitably. The question of whether one metal or several metals are profitable seems to be the only possible criterion that can be used. "

Compounds such as table salt or lime are therefore not referred to as ores.

The history of mankind has long been linked to the extraction of substances from nature. At first only the extraction of earth and minerals through the more or less accidental collection of freely occurring minerals and weathering products was in the foreground, but targeted searching and mining soon became human occupation.

Ores can have very different metal contents. A tin ore with 2% tin content may already be considered rich , whereas an iron ore with more than 60% iron (previously in Germany: 30% iron) is considered to be high.

Classification of the ore minerals according to the anion

Sulphide ores

Oxidic ores

Silicatic ores

Breakdown of the ore minerals according to the metal cation

Black metal ores: Fe, Mn, Cr, Ti, Ni, Co, W, Mo, V

Iron ores

Manganese ores

  • Pyrolusite or soft manganese ore: MnO 2
  • Psilomelan or hard manganese ore: (Ba, H 2 O) 4 Mn 10 O 20

Chrome ores

Titanium ores

Nickel ores

  • Népouit : (Ni, Mg) 6 [(OH) 8 | Si 4 O 10 ]
  • Pentlandite or nickel magnetic gravel: (Fe, Ni) 9 S 8

Cobalt ores

Tungsten ores

Molybdenum ores

Vanadium ores

Non-ferrous metal ores: Cu, Pb, Zn, Sn

Copper ores

Lead ores

Zinc ores

Tin ore

Light metal ores: Al, Mg, Li, Be

Aluminum ores / bauxite

Magnesium ores

Beryllium ores

Lithium ores

Precious metal ores: Au, Ag, Pt

Gold ores

Silver ores

  • solid silver: Ag
  • Argentite or silver luster: Ag 2 S

Platinum ores

Selection of important ore minerals in alphabetical order

Import dependence of the Federal Republic of Germany

  • 100% for bauxite, chrome, manganese, nickel, platinum and tin
  • 99.5% for copper
  • 68% for zinc

See also

Web links

Wiktionary: Erz  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Commons : ore  album with pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Homepage of the Federal Institute for Geosciences
  2. ^ Friedrich Kluge , Alfred Götze : Etymological dictionary of the German language . 20th edition. Edited by Walther Mitzka . De Gruyter, Berlin / New York 1967; Reprint (“21st unchanged edition”) ibid 1975, ISBN 3-11-005709-3 , pp. 152–153 and 174.