Metalliferous Ores

All that glitters is... just as good as gold

This small demonstration collection contains metalliferous ore minerals mounted in polished resin blocks rather than thin sections used for rocks in our other collections.

Polished ore minerals exhibit a range of colours and textures in reflected light (they are also commonly studied using scanning electron microscopes and electron microprobe). Metalliferous ores are studied under the microscope to understand their formation, and because of their commercial and strategic value. For a much more detailed explanation, try this open access book.

Ore microscopy and ore petrography

by J.R. Craig and D.J. Vaughan


About this collection

The study of opaque minerals in polished sections using the polarizing reflected-light microscope provides a method for the identification and characterisation of the opaque phases and the textural relationships between them. These samples came from Dr Andy Tindle's personal collection; we digitised them as a test to see how they'd look online.