What Is Mineral Processing and How Is It Done?

Mineral Processing is the separation of targeted minerals from the other minerals surrounding it. This process is broken down into two parts. Depending on the mineral, processing can be performed in a variety of ways. At ST Equipment & Technology (STET), we are dedicated to finding an environmentally friendly, cheaper, and quicker solution to typical mineral processing. That is why we have created our STET triboelectric separator. With this mineral separation equipment, get a higher quality product in less time, at a lower cost.

What is Mineral Processing

Mineral processing is the process of removing minerals from the ground. Separating them into useful and non-useful components. For example, if you are trying to extract iron ore from the ground, you will extract a number of other minerals with it. In order to separate these other minerals from the iron you are trying to extract, the deposit will need to go through mineral processing. This process is divided into two main steps—preparation and separation.

How Is Mineral Processing Done?

There are two main steps in mineral processing. Each step can be performed in a number of ways. The specific mineral separation equipment and techniques are chosen based on the minerals you are looking to extract and their chemical composition.


In order to properly separate the selected minerals from the ore, it must be prepared. The purpose of preparing the ore is to make separation easier for the different minerals. Each of the minerals must be partially or fully exposed in order for the separation process to work. To expose the minerals, the ore deposits must be crushed or ground into small pieces. 

Large pieces of ore are placed into a crusher or grinder and converted into smaller pieces. These pieces are then placed back into the crusher or grinder until the specific size you need for separation is achieved. Multiple crushers and grinders can be used to achieve this ideal size. Mineral processing equipment for this includes jaw and gyratory crushers, cone crushers, impact crushers, roll crushers, and grinding mills. 


The separation of minerals is where the useful minerals are separated from the non-useful minerals (also known as gangue material). Depending on the type of mineral you are looking to extract, you can use different separation techniques, or a combination of techniques, including wet separation or dry separation. 

Wet Separation

Wet separation includes the use of water in order to separate the minerals. The main types of wet separation are flotation separation and wet magnetic separation. Flotation separation uses the chemical composition of the desired mineral. By selecting a specific chemical reagent that reacts with the mineral, the mineral adheres to the reaction—separating it from the other materials. With wet magnetic separation, the mineral is targeted based on its magnetic frequency. In a drum with water, a low or high-intensity magnetic force is used to separate the minerals. With wet separation, the end product must be dried through dewatering.

Dry Separation

Dry separation does not use water and is more environmentally friendly. The main types of dry separation are gravity separation, dry magnetic separation, and electrostatic separation. Gravity separation uses the different gravitational pulls on minerals to target the mineral of choice. Dry magnetic separation uses the same process as wet magnetic separation but without the use of water. Electrostatic separation uses the charge of the mineral to separate it from others.

Triboelectric Separation

Triboelectric separation is one of the best ways to separate minerals from one another. Within a triboelectric separator, the particles are charged, separated by charge, and separated by gravity. All of this is performed with one machine. The minerals are separated quicker and easier. The result is a completely dry product that is ready for pelletization. In addition, triboelectric separation allows for lower investment/operating costs and causes minimal impact on the environment.

Mineral Separation Equipment from STET

Looking for a quicker, easier way to process minerals? Use STET’s electrostatic separation equipment. We provide state-of-the-art mineral separation equipment to our customers and helping them. Want to learn more? Contact us today!