Mineral 1.0Test your knowledge of specific minerals

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  SulfideArsenopyrite
FeAsS

Most distinguishing features:
Gives off a garlic odour when crushed or heated. Colour is indicative.

Industrial/economical uses:
A possible source of arsenic, however better secondary sources from smelting processes of other ores exist.

  SulfideBornite
Cu5FeS4

Other names/forms:
Peacock ore

Most distinguishing features:
Green-blue-purple iridescence is indicative, as is a brownish-bronze colour on fresh surfaces.

Industrial/economical uses:
Mined as an ore of copper, but not as important as chalcopyrite.

  SulfideChalcocite
Cu2S

Most distinguishing features:
Black colour with sooty appearance on weathered surfaces and sectile character are distinctive. Bronze-yellow on fresh surfaces.

Industrial/economical uses:
Mined as a source of copper.

  SulfideChalcopyrite
CuFeS2

Most distinguishing features:
Distinctive brassy-green colour. Has a richer yellow colour than pyrite and a lower hardness.

Industrial/economical uses:
Mined for its copper which has innumerable industrial uses.

  SulfideGalena
PbS

Most distinguishing features:
Gives off a rotten-egg smell in HCl, very high SG, very metallic lustre.

Industrial/economical uses:
Main ore from which lead is extracted, also a source of silver.

  SulfideMarcasite
FeS2

Most distinguishing features:
Bronze-yellow colour and habit are indicative. Streak is also helpful.

Industrial/economical uses:
Can be used as source of sulfur and iron, but not normally economically valuable.

  SulfideMolybdenite
MoS2

Most distinguishing features:
Colour is best indicator. Greasy feel and luster are good as well, as is its relative softness.

Industrial/economical uses:
Primary ore of which molybdenum is mined. Usually alloyed with iron.

  SulfidePyrite (crystalline)
FeS2

Most distinguishing features:
Colour, hardness, streak and habit are best indicators. Gives off sparks when struck with a hard metal object.

Industrial/economical uses:
May be used as source of iron or sulfur, but not normally of economic value.

  SulfidePyrite (massive)
FeS2

Most distinguishing features:
Colour, hardness, streak and habit are best indicators. Gives off sparks when struck with a hard metal object.

Industrial/economical uses:
May be used as source of iron or sulfur, but not normally of economic value.

  SulfideSphalerite
ZnS

Most distinguishing features:
Low specific gravity distinguishes it from galena, as does colour. Lustre also indicative.

Industrial/economical uses:
Main ore of which zinc is extracted.

  SulfideStibnite
Sb2S3

Most distinguishing features:
Colour and small subhedral crystals are indicators. Also rather soft.

Industrial/economical uses:
Important source of antimony (Sb)