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from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. An ore-refining process, such as smelting, dependent on the action of heat.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. any process that uses high temperatures to transform either metals or their ores


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  • (n.) A branch of extractive metallurgy. It consists of the thermal treatment of minerals and metallurgical ores and concentrates to bring about physical and chemical transformations in the materials to enable recovery of valuable metals. Pyrometallurgical treatment may produce saleable products such as pure metals, or intermediate compounds or alloys, suitable as feed for further processing. (From Wikipedia).

    August 29, 2009