Office for Technology Commercialization

Metal Ore Recovery and Treatment via Selective Carbothermic Reduction and Smelting

Technology #20180047

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Iron OreCarbothermic Reduction
Basak Anameric, PhD
Research Project Specialist, UMD Natural Resources Research Institute Coleraine Laboratories
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Larry Micek
Technology Licensing Officer 612-624-9568
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Provisional Patent Application Filed
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Non-confidential Summary [PDF]

Extraction of Metals from Ore

A method for upgrading ferro-metallic ores via selective carbothermic reduction and smelting (SCRS) process is useful for concentrating and extracting metals from ore containing iron and other metals. The method beneficiates low grade metallic ores that contain iron and one or more metals (such as manganese (Mn), silicon (Si), calcium (Ca), aluminum (Al), barium (Ba), magnesium (Mg), titanium (Ti), or vanadium (V)). Low-grade raw materials are blended with carbonaceous material and flux (as needed) to completely reduce and carburize metal intended for removal. This metal is then separated from a fusible slag, which has affinity to the other metals in the low-grade ore. Selectively carbothermically reducing and smelting the raw material mixture produces a metallic product and a slag, and the slag can be fused to separate it from the metallic product. These steps can be repeated to selectively recover metals sequentially and transform them into commercially usable products.

Carbothermic Reduction is More Efficient

Existing technologies for upgrading low grade concentrates include mineral processing techniques such as magnetic separation, flotation or gravity separation. This new approach can be used to treat ores/concentrates that cannot be treated via conventional mineral processing techniques. It is a less energy intensive method, which includes recovery of all the valuable metals in the concentrate and production of commercially viable products.


  • Profitably processes metallic ores/concentrates that contain iron and one or more metals
  • Selective carbothermic reduction and smelting (SCRS) has fewer, less energy intensive beneficiation steps
  • Recovers iron, chromium, manganese, vanadium, silicon, titanium, barium, aluminum, magnesium, or calcium as metals, metal oxides (such MnO2 and TiO2) or metal sulfide (BaSO4)
  • Can be applied to beneficiate current mining is a useful product
  • Structure is conducive to minimizing fines generation


  • Beneficiating low grade ore and slags containing iron, chromium, manganese, vanadium, silicon, titanium, barium, aluminum, magnesium, or calcium

Phase of Development - Proof of concept/testing on laboratory scale.

Interested in Licensing?
The University relies on industry partners to scale up technologies to large enough production capacity for commercial purposes. The license is available for this technology and would be for the sale, manufacture or use of products claimed by the issued patents. Please contact Larry Micek to share your business needs and technical interest in this technology and if you are interested in licensing the technology for further research and development.