Metal bearing materials

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Different forms of solid material containing metal, more or less bound to other compounds. Often, several different metals and mineral types are present in a metal bearing material. Usually the amount of metal is much lower than the amount of matrix holding the metal.

Metal-bearing materials are often classified according to


Rock and mineral formation

Weathering is one cause of mineral layer formation. For example, porphyry copper deposits are formed by weathering.

Source of valuable metals

The choice of technology and method to extract and recover metal from a metal bearing material is partly based on economic attributes associated to the metal reserve holding the metal bearing material. The metal that has not been extracted yet is either present as reserves or resources, for example European non-ferrous metal resources

Leaching objects

Leaching is one of the technologies used to extract metals from metal bearing materials. Leaching is done on a number of different raw materials and the leaching objects can broadly be classified according to types into the following groups:

Source of toxicity

Under certain circumstances, metal bearing material may mobilise metals or metalloids of such a kind and in such a dose that they are considered eco-toxic. At an equal dose some mobilised metals or metalloids are more eco-toxic than others. Mines and mine waste containing metal sulfides have the potential to cause acid mine drainage.

See also

Mineral factors

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