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What is a metal ore?

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What is a metal ore? An ore is any kind of rock or mineral from which a metal can be profitably extracted. Metals are rarely found uncombined (as elements) in nature. They are nearly always present in the forms of compounds, often where the metal is chemically joined with oxygen. Only the most unreactive metals, like silver and gold will be found pure. The most common metals are oxides and sulphides. Ores are rocks from which we extract metals. Metals are found naturally in rocks called ores. They are in compounds, chemically bonded to other elements. However, the unreactive metals are at the bottom of the reactivity series can be found as the elements themselves. We say they are found native. We can find copper, silver, gold and platinum as the metals in nature. What factors do companies consider when deciding whether to extract a metal from its ore? There are many different factors that the companies will look for, a few of them are: - How much will it cost? - How to extract the metal? - How much the metal will be worth etc. What are the three methods of metal extraction? ...read more.


High carbon steel (up to 1.5%) increases the strength of the iron even further and is used to make objects such as cutting tools. If we add in small amounts of chromium and nickel we make stainless steel. Stainless steels can be made very strong but their main advantage is that they are very resistant to rusting (corrosion). Aluminium cannot be made by electrolysis in solution, as it would react with the water- giving hydrogen gas instead. It must therefore be extracted by the electrolysis of its molten ore. Unfortunately aluminium's common oxide ore bauxite has a very high melting point- over 2000C. So vast amounts of energy would be needed to melt and split the ore. Aluminium costs five or six times as much as iron, despite being more common in the earths crust. Electrolysis is the decomposition of a compound using an electric current. Basically, the process involves ionic compounds that are either in solution or are molten. When the compounds are in this state, the ions are free to move about the melt or solution in a random fashion. However, if positive and negative electrodes (the anode and cathode) are dipped into the solution or melt (called an electrolyte), the ions then drift towards the electrode that has the opposite charge. ...read more.


The list is endless but the above list gives you a brief idea about the use of pure metals. An "alloy" is defined as a substance having metallic properties that is composed of two or more elements. The elements used as alloying substances are usually metals or metalloids. The properties of an alloy differ from the properties of the pure metals or metalloids that make up the alloy and this difference is what creates the usefulness of alloys. By combining metals and metal- loids, manufacturers can develop alloys that have the particular properties required for a given use. Some of the uses of metal alloys can be listed as follows : 1. Largest use of alloys in industries is in the form of steel. Steel is made from a varying proportion of Fe, Ni, Cr and C. Sometimes some other metals and non-metals are also added. 2. Alloys of Al are made by adding Mg, Mn. They are used in aircraft industries, auto industries, in making utensils. 3. Alloys of copper such as bronze, brass and German silver are made from combining Cu with Ni, Zn, Sn etc. They find wide applications in decorative items, and are used for coating so as to enhance the life of the items. The list can be long but the above list gives you a brief idea about the use of metal alloys. ...read more.

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Here's what a star student thought of this essay

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Response to the question

The response is explicit and well laid out the introductory section provides a good insight into metal extraction and the methods and reasoning behind it. This skill is essential especialy when the work is being marked, you must always write ...

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Response to the question

The response is explicit and well laid out the introductory section provides a good insight into metal extraction and the methods and reasoning behind it. This skill is essential especialy when the work is being marked, you must always write your aswer as if the person reading it has no previous knowledge about the subject.

Level of analysis

The knowledge contained in this essay is comparable to that at A-level, although the wording in some areas does not seem to fit the context of what the student is talking about. The examples used are well reseached and laid out for example the description of how Iron is extracted is well thought out and provides a good basis of the main ideas. It is always important to research anything you are unsure of as this will show that you have initative.

Quality of writing

The spelling in this essay is fine the grammar could be improved in places, it is important to have good spelling and grammar as it shows that you have a good basis in english as well in scientific principles. The technical terms used are beyond this qulification level which shows the student has a good understanding of the subject, bt be careful not to put terms in just for the sake of ensure that you understand what they mean. The layout and presentation could be improved by not having as many colours and fonts, by the time you are at GCSE you should keep formatting to a minimum as it looks more professional.

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