Magnetic separation is a process in which magnetically susceptible material is extracted from a mixture using a magnetic force. This separation technique can be useful in mining iron as it is attracted to a magnet. In mines where wolframite was mixed with cassiterite, such as South Crofty and East Pool mine in Cornwall or with bismuth such as at the Shepherd and Murphy mine in Moina, Tasmania, magnetic separation is used to separate the ores. At these mines a device called a Wetherill's Magnetic Separator (invented by John Price Wetherill, 1844–1906) was used. In this machine, the raw ore, after calcination was fed onto a conveyor belt which passed underneath two pairs of electromagnets under which further belts ran at right angles to the feed belt. The first pair of balls was weakly magnetized and served to draw off any iron ore present. The second pair were strongly magnetized and attracted the wolframite, which is weakly magnetic. These machines were capable of treating 10 tons of ore a day.It's a ideal form of separation mixture of solid magnetic metal like iron and nickel had magnetic properties.
It is also used in electromagnetic cranes that separate magnetic material from scraps.
- "Historical Markers - Samuel Wetherill". ExplorePAhistory.com. Retrieved 2012-08-20.