What is the importance of ore minerals


ore is a term from economics. Whether a mineral deposit is designated as an ore deposit depends solely on the profitability of the mining. This also includes the ores that have been mined in the course of history. Since economic efficiency is the only determining factor, mineral deposits that currently appear uninteresting could definitely be classified as deposits and mined in times of resource scarcity.

The history of mankind has long been linked to the extraction of substances from nature. At first the focus was only on the extraction of earth and minerals through the more or less accidental collection of freely occurring minerals and weathering products, but soon a targeted search and mining became the occupation of people.

Ores can have very different metal contents. A tin ore with 2% tin content may already be considered rich, whereas an iron ore with more than 60% iron (previously in Germany: 30% iron) is considered to be high grade.


Here is the definition according to the UK Institution of Mining and Metallurgy:

Ores are naturally occurring mineral aggregates of economic interest, from which one or more components of value can be extracted through processing. Mostly these are minerals that contain more or less metallic components.

Nevertheless, in common parlance the term is mainly associated with metallic components. The definition according to James F. Kemp 1909 is still valid in principle:

Ore is a metal-containing mineral or mineral mixture that is more or less intergrown with gangue, which - from the point of view of the miner or processor - can be profitably mined or further processed profitably. The question of whether one or more metals are profitable seems to be the only possible criterion that can be used.

Selection of important ore minerals

Import dependence of the Federal Republic of Germany

  • 100% for asbestos, bauxite, chromium, manganese, nickel, platinum and tin
  • 99.5% for copper
  • 68% for zinc

See also

  • Deposit
  • Mineral deposits
  • Mining
  • gear

additional Information

Category: raw material