Minerals are also used to extract useful
products. An ore is a rock that contains a concentrated
percentage of minerals. The minerals in the ore are extracted and then
the useful element is removed. For example, copper is a very useful
metal used in everything from coins to pipes. Native copper is abundant
but ores of copper are more common. The minerals of chalcocite, bornite,
chalcopyrite, tetrahedrite, and enargite contain copper which can be
extracted chemically. You can always tell if a ore rock contains copper
minerals, because there is always a blue color to the rock.
Silicon, used in the computer industry is obtained
from quartz which is composed of silicon and oxygen. There are many
other minerals that are useful to our society from iron, tin, nickel,
tin to uranium.