Geometallurgy is the process of combining geological, mineralogical, and metallurgical data in three dimensions to build a spatially aware mineral processing model. A geometallurgical model is an extension of a mineral resource or reserve model, and while geometallurgy began as a subdiscipline of mineral processing, it has grown into a separate discipline that promises to provide multiple benefits throughout the mine's life cycle. During the last ten years, the geometallurgy specialisation has grown significantly in prominence.
Mineral processing is the study and practice of treating ores from mines in order to remove precious minerals from waste rock. It encompasses ways for producing a more concentrated material for the following extractive metallurgy procedures. Leaching and flotation are the two basic methods for increasing mineral concentration. Many countries have focused their study on the mining and mineral processing industries as a result of growing sustainability concerns related to global warming and climate change.
Hydrometallurgy is the process of recovering metals from ores, concentrates, and recycled or residual materials using aqueous chemistry. This method is used to extract metals that are less electro positive or reactive, such as gold and silver. The three main areas of hydrometallurgy are (1) leaching, (2) solution concentration and purification, and (3) metal recovery. Hydrometallurgy has developed as an alternative to, as well as a supplement to, pyrometallurgical metal recovery.
Biometallurgy is a term that refers to the processes of bioleaching, biosorption, and bioaccumulation. Bioleaching is the process of naturally occurring microorganisms dissolving metals from their mineral sources, or the use of microorganisms to excrete organic acids and other components that are utilised to solubilize elements so that they can be recovered from a substance. This process can be triggered either directly by microbial metabolism or indirectly by metabolic products. Microbial mining, oil recovery, bioleaching, water treatment, waste recycling, crucial metal recycling, and other processes involving metals are all examples of biometallurgy applications. The principal application of biometallurgy is the recovery of valuable metals from their ores.
Pyrometallurgy is the process of treating ores at high temperatures to convert them into raw metals or intermediate compounds for further refinement. Pyrometallurgy is an extractive metallurgy branch. Thermal treatment of minerals, metallurgical ores, and concentrates is used to cause physical and chemical changes in the materials, allowing valuable metals to be recovered. Pyrometallurgical treatment can result in commercially viable products such as pure metals, intermediate compounds, or alloys that can be used as feedstock for further processing.