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Treatment of raw material (such as pulverized ore) to improve physical or chemical properties in preparation for further processing. Beneficiation techniques include washing, sizing of particulates, and concentration (which involves the separation of valuable minerals from the other raw materials received from a grinding mill). In large-scale operations, various distinguishing properties of the minerals to be separated (e.g., magnetism, wettability, density) are exploited to concentrate the desirable components. Beneficiation also is used in the ceramics and clay industries. See alsoflotation; mining; mineral processing.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on beneficiation, visit Britannica.com.