Hematite, also spelled as haematite, is a common iron oxide compound with the formula, Fe₂O₃ and is widely found in rocks and soils. Hematite crystals belong to the rhombohedral lattice system which is designated the alpha polymorph of Fe
₃. It has the same crystal structure as corundum and ilmenite. With this it forms a complete solid solution at temperatures above 950 °C.
Hematite naturally occurs in black to steel or silver-gray, brown to reddish-brown, or red colors. It is mined as an important ore of iron. It is electrically conductive. Hematite varieties include kidney ore, martite, iron rose and specularite. While these forms vary, they all have a rust-red streak. Hematite is not only harder than pure iron, but also much more brittle. Maghemite is a polymorph of hematite with the same chemical formula, but with a spinel structure like magnetite.
Large deposits of hematite are found in banded iron formations. Gray hematite is typically found in places that have still, standing water or mineral hot springs, such as those in Yellowstone National Park in North America.
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