What is a Mineral? © Copyright NewPath Learning. All Rights Reserved. 94-4651 Visit www.newpathlearning.com for Online Learning Resources. 1 3 Coal made from the remains of living organisms Quartz inorganic mineral Coal rock made from remains of living organisms Minerals 1 - naturally occurring 2 - inorganic (nonliving) 3 - solid substance solid 4 hematite feldspar quartz halite fluorite A rock is not a mineral. It is composed of one or more minerals and sometimes contains organic material. Coal is considered a rock. A substance must meet four criteria to be classified as a mineral. Second, minerals are inorganic, nonliving substances. They cannot be made up of any material that was once a living organism. solid gold Third, a mineral must be a solid substance. It has volume and shape, and is not a liquid or gas. And fourth, every mineral has a specific crystal structure with particles arranged in a repeated pattern. A mineral’s atomic structure determines its crystal structure. First, it must be naturally occurring. Minerals are always formed by natural processes, such as cooling molten lava. 2
Pause and Review What are the four criteria a substance must meet to be classified as a mineral? MINERALS Criteria Description Example 1. 2. 3. 4. © Copyright NewPath Learning. All Rights Reserved. 94-4651 Visit www.newpathlearning.com for Online Learning Resources. What is a Mineral?