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Hematite

Oxide Minerals

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Hematite (also spelled haematite) is iron oxide, Fe2O3. It is the most important iron-ore mineral. (more below)
Iron (ferric) oxide
Photo (c) 2009 Andrew Alden, licensed to About.com (fair use policy)
Hematite may be pronounced HEM-atite or HEEM-atite; the first is more American, the second more British. Hematite takes on several different appearances, but it's most easily identified when it is black, heavy and hard. It has a hardness of 6 on the Mohs scale and a distinctive red-brown streak. Unlike its oxide cousin magnetite, hematite does not attract a magnet except very weakly. Hematite is common in soil and sedimentary rocks, accounting for their reddish colors. Hematite is also the principal iron mineral in banded iron formation. This specimen of "kidney ore" hematite displays the reniform mineral habit.

Other Diagenetic Minerals

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