Last week, we learned about milling mineral ore. This week, we’ll look at what happens after minerals have been milled.
These photos show liquid silver being poured out and eventually turned into silver bars. This process is conducted through smelting: a refining and purifying process ”by which a metal is obtained … from its ore by heating beyond the melting point, ordinarily in the presence of oxidizing agents, such as air, or reducing agents, such as coke.”1 Since raw ore is pretty useless for building and powering technology, smelting allows miners to take raw ore that they’ve extracted from the Earth and turn it into a usable product that can be used to build and power all sorts of technology!
Photos courtesy of George W. Tabor Photographs, University of Idaho Special Collections and Archives