6000 years before J.-C. the men from the chalcolithic age (or "Copper Age") knew the use of native metals.
Aristote (-384 to -322) distinguished between metals and " fossils " (rocks and non metallic minerals)
Plinus the Elder (23 to 79) published his " Natural History " in 37 volumes, gigantic scientific compilation the 37th volume of which is devoted to mineralogy. Plinus is dead while he wanted to observe the Vesuvius eruption.
Théophraste (372 - 288) published his famous " lapidibus ".