Microwave Treatment of Ores

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Microwave test work is the newest addition to Sepro Labs. Microwave treatment offers several unique benefits due to the differences in heating response between valuable minerals and the hosted gangue minerals.


Most valuable sulphide minerals are very responsive to microwave irradiation while many gangue materials have an extremely low response, and in some cases are completely transparent to microwave. As a result, thermal stress and fractures along grain boundaries are created and the valuable minerals can be freed from the gangue matrix. This unique selective heating can reduce the ore competency and improve the mineral liberation, which allows for potential reduction of comminution energy and an increase in downstream metallurgical recovery compared to untreated ores. The resulting differential heating pattern can be also captured by an infrared camera and be employed by our proprietary sorting algorithm to reject waste rocks and further preconcentrate the mill feed.


To list a few of benefits from our case studies: a coarser P80 grind size, improved mineral liberation, higher ore feed grade, and improved downstream processes such as flotation and leaching. Several improvements for the operations can be provided by microwave pre-treatment and combined sorting: increased plant throughput, easier dewatering and tailings management, higher downstream metal recovery, and potential energy savings of 10 – 46% per tonne of metal production.


To find out more about how we can apply microwave technology to your project, reach out to our team at Sepro Labs. We are happy to discuss the various aspects of our test program and how we can tailor our approach to each of your projects. We also have an existing database on the microwave response of dozens of ores. With limited mineralogical information, we can provide an educated guess about the microwave response of the ore and what the potential benefit could be.

Watch and Learn

Dr. Erin Bobicki: Microwave Treatment of Ores FAQs

Microwave Treatment of Ores

How Microwave Testing Works

Innovative Mineral Processing With Microwave Technology | CanMicro Technology

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