Slate is a fine-grained, homogeneous, metamorphic rock derived from an original shale-type sedimentary rock composed of clay or volcanic ash through low grade regional metamorphism. The result is a foliated rock in which the foliation may not correspond to the original sedimentary layering. Slate is mainly composed of quartz and muscovite or illite, often along with biotite, chlorite, hematite, and pyrite along with, less frequently, apatite, graphite, kaolin, magnetite, tourmaline, or zircon. Slate can be made into roofing slates (sometimes called roofing shingles in the United States), because it has two lines of breakability: cleavage and grain.
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