Magnetic Separation

Magnetic separation is a process in which magnetically susceptible material is extracted from a mixture using a magnetic force. This separation technique can be useful in mining iron as it is attracted to a magnet. In mines where wolframite was mixed with cassiterite, such as South Crofty and East Pool mine in Cornwall or with bismuth such as at the Shepherd and Murphy mine in Moina, Tasmania, magnetic separation was used to separate the ores. At these mines a device called a Wetherill's Magnetic Separator (invented by John Price Wetherill, 1844–1906) was used. In this machine the raw ore, after calcination was fed onto a moving belt which passed underneath two pairs of electromagnets under which further belts ran at right angles to the feed belt. The first pair of electromagnets was weakly magnetised and served to draw off any iron ore present. The second pair were strongly magnetised and attracted the wolframite, which is weakly magnetic. These machines were capable of treating 10 tons of ore a day.This process of separating magnetic substances from the non-magnetic substances in a mixture with the help of a magnet is called magnetic separation.

It is also used in electromagnetic cranes that separates magnetic material from scraps.

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Mineral Processing - Unit Operations - Magnetic Separation
... Minerals such as ilmenite and magnetite are naturally magnetic, and so can be separated from non-magnetic particles using strong magnets ... These include high gradient magnetic separation (HGMS), high intensity magnetic separation (HIMS) and low intensity magnetic separation (LIMS) ... This process operates by moving particles in a magnetic field ...

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