Hurlbut, Cornelius S., Jr. Department of Geological Sciences, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Last reviewed:December 2019
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Those elements which occur in nature uncombined with other elements. Aside fom the free gases of the atmosphere there are about 20 elements that are found as minerals in the native state. These are divided into metals, semimetals and nonmetals. Gold, silver, copper and platinum are the most important metals and each of these has been found abundantly enough at certain localities to be mined as an ore. Native gold and platinum are the major ore minerals of these metals. Rarer native metals are others of the platinum group, lead, mercury, tantalum, tin and zinc. Native iron is found sparingly both as terrestrial iron and meteoric iron. See also: Ore and mineral deposits
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