The Sulfides

The sulfides are made up of sulfur combined with another mineral, usually a metal. Many of the world’s primary metal ores belong to this group. The chart below lists some of these metal ores and the metal that is produced from them.


Sulfide Ores and Their Metals
Cinnabar - This bright red mineral crystallizes around hot springs or hydrothermal veins. It contains up to 85% mercury and is the worlds primary source of the element. Mercury
Galena is a coumpound of sulfur and lead. It contains about 10% lead. Lead
Calcocite is the richest of copper ores containing about 80% copper. It is a rare mineral and most of the known deposits have been mined out. Today chalcopyrite another sulfide is the primary ore of copper. Though it contains a smaller percentage of copper it is widely distributed. Copper
Sphalerite Zinc


Cinnabar Galena
Cinnabar
Galena


This group of minerals tend to be dense, brittle, and metallic in appearance. Sulfosalts are compounds of sulfur with semimetals like arsenic, bismuth, and antimony. There are two other notable groups of this class that do not contain sulfur! They are the tellurides and the arsenides. In these minerals tellurium and arsenic take the place of sulfur in the chemical structure. They are so similar to the sulfides that they are classed with them.

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