Theory:

Minerals:
  • A mineral can be a single compound or a complex mixture of different metal combinations found in the earth.
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Different types of minerals
 
Ore:
  • An ore is a mineral that can be readily and economically extracted on a large scale.
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Ore extracted from quarry
 
All ores are minerals; But all minerals are not ores. Why?
  • We can commercially extract metals from all ores, which are minerals. However, not all minerals are ores, as some contain unwanted components.
For example, Clay (\(Al_2O_3\).\(2SiO_2.2H_2O\)) and Bauxite (\(Al_2O_3.2H_2O\)) are aluminium minerals, but we can profitably extract aluminium only from bauxite. Hence, bauxite is an ore of aluminium, and clay is its mineral.
  
Mining:
  • Mining is the process of extracting ores from the earth's crust.
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Ores in mining process
 
Gangue or Matrix:
  • Gangue or matrix refers to the rocky impurity associated with an ore.
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Rocky impurity
 
Flux:
  • The substance is added to the ore to decrease the fusion temperature and remove the impurities.
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Flux (chemical substance) adding

For example, Calcium oxide is basic; Silica is acidic.
If the gangue is acidic, then basic flux is added and vice versa.
  
Slag:
  • Slag is a fusible product produced when a flux combines with a gangue during metal extraction.
  • Flux + Gangue → Slag
Smelting:
  • Smelting is the process of decreasing the roasted metallic oxide from the molten metal.
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Copper smelting process
 
The addition of flux to this process removes impurities as slag.