Liberation of metallic-bearing minerals from host rock using microwave energy

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



It has been demonstrated that metallic-bearing minerals are physically liberated from host rock when exposed to microwave (MW) energy. The metallic minerals are iron sulfides and spinel oxide minerals contained in peridotite rock. Experimental evidence has shown ore particles readily couple with MW energy at 2.45 GHz, 1000 W resulting in rapid heating. Thermal stresses are generated by highly absorbing metallic-bearing minerals resulting in cracking and embrittlement of ore particles that assists in crushing and grinding processes. The liberated metallic-bearing minerals are shown to report to coarser size fractions as a result of MW exposure.

Publication Title

TMS Annual Meeting