“The practice of minerals processing is as old as human civilisation. Minerals and products derived from minerals have formed our development cultures from the flints of the Stone Age man to the uranium ores of Atomic Age”.
The ambition with this handbook, “Basics in Mineral Processing Equipment”, is not to give a full coverage of the subject above. The intention is to give technicians involved in mineral operations practical and useful information about the process equipment used, their systems and operational environment. The technical data given are basic, but will increase the understanding of the individual machines, their functions and performances.

Basic Definitions
It is important to know the definitions of mineral, rock and ore as they represent different product values and partly different process systems Mineral Na+
Mineral Mineral Mineral Rock
Heat Deformation



CO22- Fe2+ OHHeat Pressure



Ca Co3

Fe2 O3






Pressure Chemical activity

Ca2+ Si4+ O2-

“Natural components of chemical elements”

“Compounds of minerals”

“Rocks containing minerals or metals which can be recovered with profit”

Artificial minerals “Man made” minerals are not minerals by definitions. But from processing point of view they are similar to virgin minerals and are treated accordingly (mainly in recycling processes).



Mill scale

Glass & Ceramics




o. Refractories Wollastonite Calcite Dolomite Corundum a.o. Fillers and Pigment Barite Bentonite Calcite Dolomite Feldspar Talc a.o.o.o. Sand & Gravel Concrete ballast Asphalt ballast Rock fill Industrial sand a. Mineral Fuels Rock Non-ferrous Base Metals Copper Lead Zinc a.o.o.o.o.o. Coals Oil shale (Oil sand) Aggregate.o.o. Fertilisers Phosphate Potash Calcite Dolomite a. Glass Quartz Feldspar Calcite Dolomite a. .o. Light Metals Aluminium Magnesium Titanium Precious Metals Gold Silver Platinum a. Plastic Calcite Kaolin Talc Wollastonite Mica a.Minerals by Value Minerals Industrial Minerals Abrasives Corundum Quartz Diamond a. Refractories Wollastonite Calcite Dolomite Corundum a. Rare Metals Uranium Radium Beryllium a. Ceramics Quartz Kaolin Feldspar a. Ores Ferrous Alloy Alloying Metals Chromium Vanadium Molybdenum Tungsten a.

transportation. storage and feeding. Slurry processing includes the technologies for wet processing of mineral fractions. BASICS IN MINERAL PROCESSING 1:3 . Grinding is the stage of size reduction (wet or dry) where the liberation size for individual minerals can be reached. By further size reduction filler (mineral powder) is produced. This goal can be a crushed product with certain size and shape or maximum recovery of metals out of a complex ore. Crushing and screening is the first controlled size reduction stage in the process. Compaction of minerals includes the technologies for moving and densifying minerals by vibration.Introduction The goal in mineral processing is to produce maximum value from a given raw material. Below they are presented in the Process Frame of Minerals. This is the starting point for most mineral processes with the exception of natural minerals in the form of sand and gravel. Materials handling includes the technologies for moving the process flow (dry) forward by loading. complementary and well defined. impaction and pressure. Introduction The Process Frame of Minerals Size 1m 100 mm 10 mm 1 mm 100 micron 10 micron 1 micron 8 Drilling (and blasting) is the technology of achieving primary fragmentation of “in situ” minerals. The technologies to achieve these goals are classical. mainly used in construction applications. This is the main process in aggregate production and a preparation process for further size reduction. calcining or sintering. classified according to their interrelations in product size and process environment (dry or wet). Pyro processing includes the technologies for upgrading of the mineral fractions by drying.

section 3 page 2. Hardness Mohs 10 METALLIC MINERALS 9 8 BALLAST ROCK CONSTRUCTION MATERIALS 7 6 AGGREGATES SAND 5 4 MICRO FILLER SAND 3 2 INDUSTRIAL MINERALS Size 1m 100 mm 10 mm 8 1 COARSE FILLER FINE FILLER 1 mm 100 micron 10 micron 1 micron 1:4 BASICS IN MINERAL PROCESSING . 10. 6. Mohs. Size and hardness together give interesting information. 4. 8. 2. rock or ores have different hardness depending on the chemical composition and the geological environment.Introduction Introduction Mineral Processing and Hardness All deposits of minerals. uptime.). (wear rate. Mica. 5. 7. Mohs numbers are a simple classification: 1. It is important to know in which “range” we are operating as this will affect many process parameters. 9. Mr. operation costs etc. See information on work index and abrasion index. Talc Gypsum Calcite Fluorite Apatite Feldspar Quartz Topaz Corundum Diamond Crushed by a finger nail Scratched by a finger nail Scratched by an iron nail Easily scratched by a knife Scratched by a knife Hardly scratched by a knife Scratches glass Scratched by quartz Scratched by a diamond Cannot be scratched Graphite. Pyrite Basalt Beryl In 1813 an Austrian geologist. classified minerals according to their individual hardness. Gold Dolomite Magnesite Magnetite Granite. 3. Sulphur. In operation we naturally need more information about our feed material. Size and Hardness All operations have different process environments due to mineral hardness and size range.

in wear protection etc.Introduction Beside size and hardness. Introduction The Stress Forces of Rock Mechanics Tensile Compression Impaction Shearing Attrition BASICS IN MINERAL PROCESSING 1:5 . They guide us in equipment design. in systems layout. the classical stress forces of rock mechanics are the fundamentals in most of what we do in mineral processing. They are always around and they always have to be considered.

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