Quartz is the second most abundant mineral in Earths continental crust, behind feldspar. There are many different varieties of quartz, several of which are semi-precious gemstones, since antiquity, varieties of quartz have been the most commonly used minerals in the making of jewelry and hardstone carvings, especially in Eurasia. The word quartz is derived from the German word Quarz and its Middle High German ancestor twarc, the Ancient Greeks referred to quartz as κρύσταλλος derived from the Ancient Greek κρύος meaning icy cold, because some philosophers apparently believed the mineral to be a form of supercooled ice. Today, the rock crystal is sometimes used as an alternative name for the purest form of quartz. Quartz belongs to the crystal system. The ideal crystal shape is a six-sided prism terminating with six-sided pyramids at each end, well-formed crystals typically form in a bed that has unconstrained growth into a void, usually the crystals are attached at the other end to a matrix and only one termination pyramid is present.
However, doubly terminated crystals do occur where they develop freely without attachment, a quartz geode is such a situation where the void is approximately spherical in shape, lined with a bed of crystals pointing inward. α-quartz crystallizes in the crystal system, space group P3121 and P3221 respectively. β-quartz belongs to the system, space group P6222 and P6422. These space groups are truly chiral, both α-quartz and β-quartz are examples of chiral crystal structures composed of achiral building blocks. The transformation between α- and β-quartz only involves a comparatively minor rotation of the tetrahedra with respect to one another, although many of the varietal names historically arose from the color of the mineral, current scientific naming schemes refer primarily to the microstructure of the mineral. Color is an identifier for the cryptocrystalline minerals, although it is a primary identifier for the macrocrystalline varieties. Pure quartz, traditionally called rock crystal or clear quartz, is colorless and transparent or translucent, common colored varieties include citrine, rose quartz, smoky quartz, milky quartz, and others.
The most important distinction between types of quartz is that of macrocrystalline and the microcrystalline or cryptocrystalline varieties, the cryptocrystalline varieties are either translucent or mostly opaque, while the transparent varieties tend to be macrocrystalline. Chalcedony is a form of silica consisting of fine intergrowths of both quartz, and its monoclinic polymorph moganite. Other opaque gemstone varieties of quartz, or mixed rocks including quartz, often including contrasting bands or patterns of color, are agate, carnelian or sard, heliotrope, amethyst is a form of quartz that ranges from a bright to dark or dull purple color. The worlds largest deposits of amethysts can be found in Brazil, Uruguay, France, sometimes amethyst and citrine are found growing in the same crystal. It is referred to as ametrine, an amethyst is formed when there is iron in the area where it was formed
An ore is a type of rock that contains sufficient minerals with important elements including metals that can be economically extracted from the rock. The ores are extracted from the earth through mining, they are refined to extract the valuable element. The grade or concentration of an ore mineral, or metal, as well as its form of occurrence, will directly affect the costs associated with mining the ore. The cost of extraction must thus be weighed against the value contained in the rock to determine what ore can be processed. Metal ores are generally oxides, silicates, or native metals that are not commonly concentrated in the Earths crust, the ores must be processed to extract the metals of interest from the waste rock and from the ore minerals. Ore bodies are formed by a variety of geological processes, the process of ore formation is called ore genesis. An ore deposit is an accumulation of ore and this is distinct from a mineral resource as defined by the mineral resource classification criteria.
An ore deposit is one occurrence of a particular ore type, Ore deposits are classified according to various criteria developed via the study of economic geology, or ore genesis. Stratiform arkose-hosted and shale-hosted copper, typified by the Zambian copperbelt and this identifies, early on, whether further investment in estimation and engineering studies is warranted and identifies key risks and areas for further work. This is because the distribution of ores is unequal and dislocated from locations of peak demand. Other, commodities do not have international clearing houses and benchmark prices and this generally makes determining the price of ores of this nature opaque and difficult. Such metals include lithium, niobium-tantalum, bismuth and rare earths, most of these commodities are dominated by one or two major suppliers with >60% of the worlds reserves. The London Metal Exchange aims to add uranium to its list of metals on warrant, the World Bank reports that China was the top importer of ores and metals in 2005 followed by the USA and Japan.
Economic geology Mineral resource classification Ore genesis Petrology Froth Flotation Extractive metallurgy DILL, the “chessboard” classification scheme of mineral deposits and geology from aluminum to zirconium, Earth-Science Reviews, Volume 100, Issue 1-4, June 2010, Pages 1-420
Minas Gerais is a state in the north of Southeastern Brazil. It ranks as the second most populous, the third by gross domestic product, Minas Gerais is the state with the largest number of Brazilian presidents. With an area of 586,528 square kilometres —larger than Metropolitan France—it is the fourth most extensive state in Brazil. In the south, the tourist points are the mineral spas, such as Caxambu, Lambari, São Lourenço, Poços de Caldas, São Thomé das Letras, Monte Verde. The landscape of the State is marked by mountains, valleys, in the Serra do Cipó, Sete Lagoas and Lagoa Santa, the caves and waterfalls are the attractions. Some of Brazils most famous caverns are located there, in recent years, the state has emerged as one of the largest economic forces of Brazil, exploring its great economic potential. Two interpretations are given for the origin of the name Minas Gerais and it comes from Minas dos Matos Gerais, the former name of the colonial province. Another explanation is that this ignores the two large geographical spaces which conformed the state in its history, the region of the mines, and these corresponded to the areas of Sertão which were farther and hard to access from the mining spots.
The confusion comes from the fact that the term Gerais is taken as an adjective to Minas in the first version, Minas Gerais is in the north of the southeastern subdivision of Brasil, which contains the states of São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Espírito Santo. It borders on Bahia, Goiás, Mato Grosso do Sul, the states of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro and it shares a short boundary with the Distrito Federal. Minas Gerais is situated between 14°1358 and 22°5400 S latitude and between 39°5132 and 51°0235 W longitude and it is larger in area than Metropolitan France or Spain. Minas Gerais features some of the longest rivers in Brazil, most notably the São Francisco, the Paraná and to a lesser extent, the state holds many hydroelectric power plants, including Furnas. The most notable one is the Pico da Bandeira, the third highest mountain in Brazil at 2890 m, the state has huge reserves of iron and sizeable reserves of gold and gemstones, including emerald and aquamarine mines. Emeralds found in location are comparable to the best Colombia-origin emeralds.
Each region of the state has a character, geographically. The central and eastern area of the state is hilly and rocky, around Lagoa Santa and Sete Lagoas a typical Karst topography with caves and lakes is found. Some of the mountains are almost entirely iron ore, which led to extensive mining, recent advances in environmental policy helped to put limits to mining. Vale do Aços largest cities are Ipatinga, Coronel Fabriciano and Timóteo, now that mining is restricted large areas of forest are being removed for timber, charcoal and to clear land for cattle ranching
Garnets are a group of silicate minerals that have been used since the Bronze Age as gemstones and abrasives. All species of garnets possess similar physical properties and crystal forms, the different species are pyrope, spessartine, grossular and andradite. The garnets make up two solid solution series, pyrope-almandine-spessartine and uvarovite-grossular-andradite, the word garnet comes from the 14th‑century Middle English word gernet, meaning dark red. It is derived from the Latin granatus, from granum, Garnet species are found in many colors including red, yellow, purple, blue, black and colorless, with reddish shades most common. Garnet species light transmission properties can range from the gemstone-quality transparent specimens to the varieties used for industrial purposes as abrasives. The minerals luster is categorized as vitreous or resinous, garnets are nesosilicates having the general formula X3Y23. The X site is occupied by divalent cations 2+ and the Y site by trivalent cations 3+ in an octahedral/tetrahedral framework with 4− occupying the tetrahedra.
Garnets are most often found in the crystal habit, but are commonly found in the trapezohedron habit. They crystallize in the system, having three axes that are all of equal length and perpendicular to each other. Garnets do not show cleavage, so when they fracture under stress, because the chemical composition of garnet varies, the atomic bonds in some species are stronger than in others. As a result, this group shows a range of hardness on the Mohs scale of about 6.5 to 7.5. The harder species like almandine are often used for abrasive purposes, for gem identification purposes, a pick-up response to a strong neodymium magnet separates garnet from all other natural transparent gemstones commonly used in the jewelry trade. Almandine, Fe3Al23 Pyrope, Mg3Al23 Spessartine, Mn3Al23 Almandine, sometimes incorrectly called almandite, is the modern gem known as carbuncle, the term carbuncle is derived from the Latin meaning live coal or burning charcoal. The name Almandine is a corruption of Alabanda, a region in Asia Minor where these stones were cut in ancient times, almandine is an iron-aluminium garnet with the formula Fe3Al23, the deep red transparent stones are often called precious garnet and are used as gemstones.
Almandine occurs in metamorphic rocks like mica schists, associated with such as staurolite, andalusite. Almandine has nicknames of Oriental garnet, almandine ruby, and carbuncle, Pyrope is red in color and chemically an aluminium silicate with the formula Mg3Al23, though the magnesium can be replaced in part by calcium and ferrous iron. The color of pyrope varies from red to black. A variety of pyrope from Macon County, North Carolina is a shade and has been called rhodolite
Cleavage, in mineralogy, is the tendency of crystalline materials to split along definite crystallographic structural planes. Cleavage forms parallel to planes, Basal or pinacoidal cleavage occurs when there is only one cleavage plane. Mica has basal cleavage, this is why mica can be peeled into thin sheets, cubic cleavage occurs on when there are three cleavage planes intersecting at 90 degrees. Halite has cubic cleavage, and therefore, when halite crystals are broken, octahedral cleavage occurs when there are four cleavage planes in a crystal. Octahedral cleavage is common for semiconductors, rhombohedral cleavage occurs when there are three cleavage planes intersecting at angles that are not 90 degrees. Prismatic cleavage occurs when there are two planes in a crystal. Dodecahedral cleavage occurs when there are six cleavage planes in a crystal, crystal parting occurs when minerals break along planes of structural weakness due to external stress or along twin composition planes. Parting breaks are very similar in appearance to cleavage, but only due to stress.
Examples include magnetite which shows octahedral parting, the parting of corundum. Cleavage is a property traditionally used in mineral identification, both in hand specimen and microscopic examination of rock and mineral studies. As an example, the angles between the cleavage planes for the pyroxenes and the amphiboles are diagnostic. Crystal cleavage is of importance in the electronics industry and in the cutting of gemstones. Precious stones are generally cleaved by impact, as in diamond cutting, synthetic single crystals of semiconductor materials are generally sold as thin wafers which are much easier to cleave. Elemental semiconductors are diamond cubic, a group for which octahedral cleavage is observed. This means that some orientations of wafer allow near-perfect rectangles to be cleaved, most other commercial semiconductors can be made in the related zinc blende structure, with similar cleavage planes. Cleavage Mineral galleries, Mineral properties – Cleavage
Mohs scale of mineral hardness
The Mohs scale of mineral hardness is a qualitative ordinal scale characterizing scratch resistance of various minerals through the ability of harder material to scratch softer material. Created in 1812 by German geologist and mineralogist Friedrich Mohs, it is one of several definitions of hardness in materials science, while greatly facilitating the identification of minerals in the field, the Mohs scale does not show how well hard materials perform in an industrial setting. Despite its lack of precision, the Mohs scale is highly relevant for field geologists, the Mohs scale hardness of minerals can be commonly found in reference sheets. Reference materials may be expected to have a uniform Mohs hardness, the Mohs scale of mineral hardness is based on the ability of one natural sample of mineral to scratch another mineral visibly. The samples of matter used by Mohs are all different minerals, Minerals are pure substances found in nature. Rocks are made up of one or more minerals, as the hardest known naturally occurring substance when the scale was designed, diamonds are at the top of the scale.
The hardness of a material is measured against the scale by finding the hardest material that the material can scratch. For example, if material is scratched by apatite but not by fluorite. Scratching a material for the purposes of the Mohs scale means creating non-elastic dislocations visible to the naked eye, materials that are lower on the Mohs scale can create microscopic, non-elastic dislocations on materials that have a higher Mohs number. The Mohs scale is an ordinal scale. For example, corundum is twice as hard as topaz, the table below shows the comparison with the absolute hardness measured by a sclerometer, with pictorial examples. On the Mohs scale, a streak plate has a hardness of 7.0, using these ordinary materials of known hardness can be a simple way to approximate the position of a mineral on the scale. The table below incorporates additional substances that may fall between levels, Comparison between Hardness and Hardness, Mohs hardness of elements is taken from G. V, samsonov in Handbook of the physicochemical properties of the elements, IFI-Plenum, New York, USA,1968.
The Hardness of Minerals and Rocks
Orthoclase, or orthoclase feldspar, is an important tectosilicate mineral which forms igneous rock. The name is from the Ancient Greek for straight fracture, because its two planes are at right angles to each other. It is a type of potassium feldspar, known as K-feldspar, the gem known as moonstone is largely composed of orthoclase. Orthoclase is a constituent of most granites and other felsic igneous rocks and often forms huge crystals. Typically, the pure potassium endmember of orthoclase forms a solution with albite. While slowly cooling within the earth, sodium-rich albite lamellae form by exsolution, the resulting intergrowth of the two feldspars is called perthite. The higher-temperature polymorph of KAlSi3O8 is sanidine, sanidine is common in rapidly cooled volcanic rocks such as obsidian and felsic pyroclastic rocks, and is notably found in trachytes of the Drachenfels, Germany. The lower-temperature polymorph of KAlSi3O8 is microcline, adularia is a low temperature form of either microcline or orthoclase originally reported from the low temperature hydrothermal deposits in the Adula Alps of Switzerland.
It was first described by Ermenegildo Pini in 1781, the optical effect of adularescence in moonstone is typically due to adularia. The largest documented crystal of orthoclase was found in Ural mountains. It measured ~10×10×0.4 m and weighed ~100 tons, together with the other potassium feldspars, orthoclase is a common raw material for the manufacture of some glasses and some ceramics such as porcelain, and as a constituent of scouring powder. Some intergrowths of orthoclase and albite have an attractive pale luster and are called moonstone when used in jewellery, most moonstones are translucent and white, although grey and peach-colored varieties occur. In gemology, their luster is called adularescence and is described as creamy or silvery white with a billowy quality. It is the gem of Florida. Orthoclase is one of the ten defining minerals of the Mohs scale of mineral hardness, nASAs Curiosity Rover discovery of high levels of orthoclase in Martian sandstones suggested that some Martian rocks may have experienced complex geological processing, such as repeated melting
In crystallography, the terms crystal system, crystal family and lattice system each refer to one of several classes of space groups, point groups or crystals. Informally, two crystals are in the crystal system if they have similar symmetries, though there are many exceptions to this. Space groups and crystals are divided into seven crystal systems according to their point groups, five of the crystal systems are essentially the same as five of the lattice systems, but the hexagonal and trigonal crystal systems differ from the hexagonal and rhombohedral lattice systems. The six crystal families are formed by combining the hexagonal and trigonal crystal systems into one hexagonal family, a lattice system is a class of lattices with the same set of lattice point groups, which are subgroups of the arithmetic crystal classes. The 14 Bravais lattices are grouped into seven lattice systems, monoclinic, tetragonal, hexagonal, in a crystal system, a set of point groups and their corresponding space groups are assigned to a lattice system.
Of the 32 point groups that exist in three dimensions, most are assigned to only one system, in which case both the crystal and lattice systems have the same name. However, five point groups are assigned to two systems and hexagonal, because both exhibit threefold rotational symmetry. These point groups are assigned to the crystal system. In total there are seven crystal systems, monoclinic, tetragonal, hexagonal, a crystal family is determined by lattices and point groups. It is formed by combining crystal systems which have space groups assigned to a lattice system. In three dimensions, the families and systems are identical, except the hexagonal and trigonal crystal systems. In total there are six families, monoclinic, tetragonal, hexagonal. Spaces with less than three dimensions have the number of crystal systems, crystal families and lattice systems. In one-dimensional space, there is one crystal system, in 2D space, there are four crystal systems, rectangular and hexagonal. The relation between three-dimensional crystal families, crystal systems and lattice systems is shown in the table, Note.
To avoid confusion of terminology, the term trigonal lattice is not used, if the original structure and inverted structure are identical, the structure is centrosymmetric. Still, even for non-centrosymmetric case, inverted structure in some cases can be rotated to align with the original structure and this is the case of non-centrosymmetric achiral structure. If the inverted structure cannot be rotated to align with the structure, the structure is chiral
Brazil, officially the Federative Republic of Brazil, is the largest country in both South America and Latin America. As the worlds fifth-largest country by area and population, it is the largest country to have Portuguese as an official language. Its Amazon River basin includes a vast tropical forest, home to wildlife, a variety of ecological systems. This unique environmental heritage makes Brazil one of 17 megadiverse countries, Brazil was inhabited by numerous tribal nations prior to the landing in 1500 of explorer Pedro Álvares Cabral, who claimed the area for the Portuguese Empire. Brazil remained a Portuguese colony until 1808, when the capital of the empire was transferred from Lisbon to Rio de Janeiro, in 1815, the colony was elevated to the rank of kingdom upon the formation of the United Kingdom of Portugal and the Algarves. Independence was achieved in 1822 with the creation of the Empire of Brazil, a state governed under a constitutional monarchy. The ratification of the first constitution in 1824 led to the formation of a bicameral legislature, the country became a presidential republic in 1889 following a military coup détat.
An authoritarian military junta came to power in 1964 and ruled until 1985, Brazils current constitution, formulated in 1988, defines it as a democratic federal republic. The federation is composed of the union of the Federal District, the 26 states, Brazils economy is the worlds ninth-largest by nominal GDP and seventh-largest by GDP as of 2015. A member of the BRICS group, Brazil until 2010 had one of the worlds fastest growing economies, with its economic reforms giving the country new international recognition. Brazils national development bank plays an important role for the economic growth. Brazil is a member of the United Nations, the G20, BRICS, Mercosul, Organization of American States, Organization of Ibero-American States, CPLP. Brazil is a power in Latin America and a middle power in international affairs. One of the worlds major breadbaskets, Brazil has been the largest producer of coffee for the last 150 years and it is likely that the word Brazil comes from the Portuguese word for brazilwood, a tree that once grew plentifully along the Brazilian coast.
In Portuguese, brazilwood is called pau-brasil, with the word brasil commonly given the etymology red like an ember, formed from Latin brasa and the suffix -il. As brazilwood produces a red dye, it was highly valued by the European cloth industry and was the earliest commercially exploited product from Brazil. The popular appellation eclipsed and eventually supplanted the official Portuguese name, early sailors sometimes called it the Land of Parrots. In the Guarani language, a language of Paraguay, Brazil is called Pindorama
The name literally means false form. Terminology for pseudomorphs is replacer after original, as in brookite after rutile, an infiltration pseudomorph, or substitution pseudomorph is a pseudomorph in which one mineral or other material is replaced by another. The original shape of the mineral remains unchanged, but color, hardness, an example of this process is the replacement of wood by silica to form petrified wood in which the substitution may be so perfect as to retain the original cellular structure of the wood. An example of substitution is replacement of aragonite twin crystals by native copper, as occurs at the Corocoro United Copper Mines of Coro Coro. A variety of infiltration or substitution pseudomorphism is called alteration, in only partial replacement occurs. This happens typically when a mineral of one composition changes by chemical reaction to another of similar composition, an example is a change from galena to anglesite. The resulting pseudomorph may contain a core of galena surrounded by anglesite that has the cubic crystal shape of galena. A paramorph is a mineral changed on the level only.
It has the chemical composition, but with a different structure. The mineral looks identical to the original unaltered form and this occurs, as an example, in the aragonite to calcite change. An incrustation pseudomorph, called perimorph, results from a process by which a mineral is coated by another, the encasing mineral remains intact, and retains the shape of the original mineral or material. Alternatively, another mineral may fill the previously occupied by some other mineral or material. Pseudomorphs are common in paleontology, fossils are often formed by pseudomorphic replacement of the remains by mineral matter. Examples include petrified wood and pyritized gastropod shells, in biology, a pseudomorph is a cloud of mucus-rich ink released by many species of cephalopod. The name refers to the similarity in appearance between the cephalopod that released it and the cloud itself, in context meaning literally false body. This behaviour often allows the cephalopod to escape from predation unharmed, danas Manual of Mineralogy by Cornelis S.
Hurlbut, Eighteenth Edition, ISBN 0-471-42225-8 Polymorphism
Greenschists are metamorphic rocks that formed under the lowest temperatures and pressures usually produced by regional metamorphism, typically 300–450 °C and 2–10 kilobars. The name comes from commonly having an abundance of minerals such as chlorite and epidote. The platiness causes the tendency to split, or have schistosity, other common minerals include quartz, talc, carbonate minerals and amphibole. It is a general field petrologic term applied to metamorphic or altered mafic volcanic rock, the term greenstone is sometimes used to refer to greenschist but can refer to other rock types without any schistosity too, especially metabasalt. The green is due to abundant green chlorite and epidote minerals that dominate the rock, basalts may remain quite black if primary pyroxene does not revert to chlorite or actinolite. To qualify for the name a rock must exhibit schistosity or some foliation or layering, the rock is derived from basalt, gabbro or similar rocks containing sodium-rich plagioclase feldspar, chlorite and quartz.
Greenschist, as a type, is defined by the presence of the minerals chlorite and actinolite. Greenschist often has a lepidoblastic, nematoblastic or schistose texture defined primarily by chlorite and actinolite, greenschists often have some foliation resulting in mineral alignment, especially of chlorite and actinolite. Grain size is rarely coarse, due primarily to the mineral assemblage, chlorite and to a lesser extent actinolite typically exhibit small, flat or acicular crystal habits. Greenschist facies results from low temperature, moderate pressure metamorphism, Metamorphic conditions which create typical greenschist facies assemblages are called the Barrovian Facies Sequence, and the lower-pressure Abukuma Facies Series. Temperatures of approximately 400 to 500 °C and depths of about 8 to 50 kilometres are the typical envelope of greenschist facies rocks, the equilibrium mineral assemblage of rocks subjected to greenschist facies conditions depends on primary rock composition. In greater detail the greenschist facies is subdivided into subgreenschist and upper greenschist, lower temperatures are transitional with and overlap the prehnite-pumpellyite facies and higher temperatures overlap with and include sub-amphibolite facies.
If burial continues along Barrovian Sequence metamorphic trajectories, greenschist facies gives rise to amphibolite facies assemblages, dominated by amphibole, lower pressure, normally contact metamorphism produces albite-epidote hornfels while higher pressures at great depth produces eclogite. Oceanic basalts in the vicinity of mid-ocean ridges typically exhibit sub-greenschist alteration, the greenstone belts of the various archean cratons are commonly altered to the greenschist facies. These ancient rocks are noted as host rocks for a variety of ore deposits in Australia, greenschist rocks have been used to make axes across Europe. Several sites including Langdale axe industry have been identified, a form of chlorite schist was popular in prehistoric Native American communities for the production of axes and celts, as well as ornamental items. In the Middle Woodland period, greenschist was one of the trade items that were part of the Hopewell culture exchange network. During the time of the Mississippian culture, the polity of Moundville apparently had some control over the production and distribution of greenschist, the Moundville source has been shown to be from two localities in the Hillabee Formation of central and eastern Alabama