What is Mineral Processing

Mineral processing is the mechanical and physical process used to separate ore from gangue minerals or other unwanted materials. This process can be accomplished through many different methods however, all of them require important steps. In the beginning, you must physically break large stones into smaller pieces which are more readily used. Another option is to reduce these minerals into smaller pieces. The next step in mineral processing is to mix water to form a slurry which separates valuable minerals from waste. The final step is to dry out and get rid of the precious minerals.

Mineral processing is possible through a range of large-scale equipment and additionally through hand-picking. Extraction of the ore from ground is only a small portion of the process. This needs to be followed up with a method of extracting the minerals and components that comprise the metal.

A typical piece of equipment utilized in mineral processing plants are jigs, concentrators, flotation cells, autogenous (AG) mills, ball mills, shaker tables, trommels magnetic separation equipment, and gravity extraction techniques.

Mineral processing is essential for the production of many elements that are found in our world including gold, copper and nickel to name a few. Mineral processing, though it could seem difficult at firstglance, is really a simple method of mining valuable minerals and then adding simple chemicals to remove them.

Here are some basic rules to ensure the successful processing of minerals

Processed ore must be free of waste substances (i.e., gangue). The material must be free of sulfides, salts that dissolve and dry. It should be of good form or break easily into small pieces that allow treatment.

Acceptable ore should contain fewer Sulfides and salts that are soluble than other forms. They are among the most problematic types of sulfur and salt which can cause issues when processing. It should be large and round in shape so it is able to be reduced into smaller pieces with cutting or grinding machines.

Mineral processing generally begins with breaking the ore into smaller pieces (a procedure known as comminution). The more fine the comminution, the greater the surface area the mineral is exposed to reagents and enable better processing. The equipment used for mineral processing can limit the size of particles. It generally ranges from 5 millimeters to 0.0774 millimeters for particles going through a circular-hole sieve. However larger particles could reach several decimeters.

Crushers and mills are two types of machines that crush or break the rock into smaller pieces. Crushers are utilized to break down massive amounts of ore into smaller pieces. There are many types of crushers including impact crushers and compression crushers that make use of steel teeth that are high-speed for breaking down ore through compressing it. This process is often performed in stages with the sizes of specific mineral parts being progressively reduced.

Mills make ore pulp by grinding or pulverizing ore between two surfaces which rotate at different rates. Because manganese steel is much more durable than other alloying elements the surfaces are generally lined with manganese-based lines. Manganese steel liners are much more difficult to replace and repair in the event of wear and tear.

Another step in mineral processing involves separating the beneficial minerals from the debris. Magnetic separation and density are two of the most common methods for seperation.

Magnetic separation is a method which makes use of magnets to separate minerals from gangue material or mineral deposits that contain multiple minerals. Trommels, drum separators and pulsed field separators are all utilized for magnetic separation. The equipment is used to separate valuable minerals according their density, form, and magnetic properties. The decision to use a particular method is based on several factors, including the type of rock (i.e. sulfides, clean), size of equipment and ore characteristics (i.e. simple or hard crushing) and the presence or absence of magnets in ore streams or waste streams, as well as the degree of dilution.

For more information, click mineral processors