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Scientific testing of minerals

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Determine the identity of your samples by comparing their
properties with the descriptions listed in the key. Only selected metallic and non metallic minerals are listed. **Reference document used at 2013 EdGEO Teacher Workshop at GACMAC 2013. Presented by Mining Matters**

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Scientific testing of minerals

  1. 1. Scientific Testing of Minerals Activity – Key Mining MattersInstructions: Determine the identity of your samples by comparing theirproperties with the descriptions listed in the key. Start at the left, and workyour way to the right while progressively narrowing the possibilities.Black; streak charcoal gray-black;strongly magnetic; may conductelectricity; hardness 6MAGNETITEBrass yellow; cubic crystals; hardness 6to 6.5PYRITEBrass yellow-green, may be tarnishedpurple; streak green-black; conductselectricity; hardness 3.5 – 4CHALCOPYRITEShiny gray; very heavy; cubic cleavage;conducts electricity; hardness 2.5GALENAYellow-brown; streak white to paleyellow; resinous lustre; magnetic;conducts electricity; hardness 3.5 to 4SPHALERITEGray-black, red-brown; streak red-brown; metallic, dull; weakly magnetic;hardness 5.5 to 6.5HEMATITEClear, white, or grey; glassy; streakwhite; shell-like fracture; hardness 7QUARTZPurple; streak white, colourless; glassy;shell-like fracture; hardness 7AMETHYSTColourless to white; streak white; glassy;cubic cleavage; hardness 2.5; salty tasteHALITEWhite or yellow to colourless; streakwhite or gray; glassy dull; hardness 3;fizzes with dilute acid; double image seenwhen crystal is placed on printed pageCALCITEWhite to transparent; streak white;glassy or pearly; hardness 2; soft but notas soft as talcGYPSUMGreen, gray to white or yellow; streakwhite; pearly or greasy; hardness 1; verysoftTALCScientific Testing of MineralsMineral Identification KeyNocleavageCleavageNon-metallic,lightcolouredBlack, green-black, ordark greenstreakBrown orwhitestreakMetalliclustre

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