Taxonomy term


Mineral Resource of the Month: Silicon

Almost 30 percent of Earth’s crust consists of silicon, the second-most abundant element on Earth following oxygen. Silicon is rarely found free in nature; it combines with oxygen and other elements to form silicate minerals. These silicate minerals compose more than 90 percent of Earth’s crust. Silicates are the largest class of rock-forming minerals on Earth. Silicon dioxide, or silica, typically takes the form of quartz, the most common component of sand. Silicon is also the seventh-most abundant element in the universe.

07 Aug 2017

Mineral Resource of the Month: Silicon

Silicon is classified as a metalloid element because it has properties of both metals and nonmetals. As the second-most abundant element in Earth’s crust — second only to oxygen — it accounts for more than 25 percent of the crust by weight. By mass, silicon is the eighth-most common element in the universe. Yet it is rarely found free in nature. Rather, it occurs chiefly in silicate minerals, such as feldspars, hornblendes, phyllosilicates, the serpentine group of minerals and micas, and in quartz and microcrystalline forms of quartz, such as agate and flint. These minerals are found in many different rocks, including granites and schists. Sand is commonly composed of small particles of quartz. 

14 Oct 2010