SPUTNIK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SPUTNIK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Copper smelting. Sparks fly in a foundry during the smelting of copper. In smelting, metallic ore is heated to a high temperature with other chemicals. Some of these chemicals react with the metal compounds to leave pure metal. Others react with the rock minerals mixed in with the ore to form a slag that can be skimmed off or poured off from the metal. The most important copper ores are copper sulphides. As these may contain only a small proportion of copper, smelting is just one of the several processes needed to extract the metal from the ore. Photographed at the Norilsk ore factory in Krasnoyarsk, Russia.
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