Ore containing lead.
Any of several minerals from which lead is extracted. The main primary ore is galena or lead sulfite PbS. This is unstable, and on prolonged exposure to the atmosphere it oxidizes into the minerals cerussite PbCO3 and anglesite PbSO4. Lead ores are usually associated with other metals, particularly silver—which can be mined at the same time—and zinc, which can cause problems during smelting.
Most commercial deposits of lead ore are in the form of veins, where hot fluids have leached the ore from cooling igneous masses and deposited it in cracks in the surrounding country rock, and in thermal metamorphic zones, where the heat of igneous intrusions has altered the minerals of surrounding rocks. Lead is mined in over 40 countries, but half of the world's output comes from the US, Canada, Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Canada, and Australia.