Chemical and physical characteristics of metals and alloys.

Metallurgy, in a highly simplified manner, has several crucial steps. These are:

  1. Crushing of the ore by powdering or grinding to increase its surface area
  2. Concentration/Benefaction/Dressing (removal of impurities) by froth floatation/levigation/magnetic separation/etc.
  3. Roasting or calcination (where appropriate) to form a metal oxide
  4. Reduction of the pure metal oxide to metal: electrolytically, by reducing agent, self-reduction, or by heating
  5. Purification of the metal obtained in step 4

Several metals like iron or copper also involve formation and removal of "matrix" (infusible impurities) removed as fusible "slag" by addition of acidic or basic "flux".

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