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(in mining), a product of mineral dressing that is more suitable for use or further processing than the initial raw material. In most cases, direct use of the extracted rock or its metallurgical or chemical processing is economically unfeasible and sometimes even technically impossible. A concentrate may have a high content of a valuable component (such as a metal), a small quantity of impurities (for example, iron and titanium in glass sand), or the required size (graded anthracite).
The quality of concentrates is regulated by government standards or by technical specifications that determine the size and the content of valuable components, undesirable impurities, and moisture. For example, concentrate must contain Pb > 70 percent, SiO2 < 2 percent, Cu < 1.5 percent, Zn < 2.5 percent, and Fe < 8 percent for lead hearth smelting and Pb > 30 percent, Cu < 4 percent, and Zn < 12 percent for shaft smelting.
A distinction is made among preconcentrate (coarse or crude concentrate), which is subjected to further dressing; bulk concentrate, which contains several valuable components; and final concentrate. In most cases, concentrate is a raw material for metallurgical, chemical, and other production processes.