This paper describes naturally occurring minerals and reagent-grade compounds which were tested to determine their receptivity to microwave heating. The maximum temperature achieved for the samples and the time required to reach temperature are reported. A description of the microwave oven and a thermocouple technique that accurately measures and continuously records the temperature of samples during irradiation are reported. Extractive applications using the generated microwave data were investigated. Stress fracturing at mineral grain boundaries in a gangue matrix was shown. This should significantly affect grinding energy requirements and liberation properties. A method to produce a magnetic phase on pyrite surfaces, a method of using microwave heating to retort cinnabar concentrate, and a roast-leaching microwave treatment of chalcopyrite ore are described.
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