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How is platinum extracted?

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Quick Answer

Because platinum is so rare, it must be extracted after being mined through a process that involves crushing it into incredibly small particles and separating these particles from one another. This is known as the flotation separation method, and produces a frothy layer of particles that can be skimmed to provide the extracted platinum. This process is necessary because platinum, even in ore, needs to be removed from other substances.

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How is platinum extracted?
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Full Answer

Platinum is an incredibly rare metal that is mined and extracted in a variety of different ways depending on the technological sophistication of the miners attempting to extract it. It is incredibly difficult to find in large pure quantities, so it needs to be extracted from the ore in a very specific way. Platinum ore can be obtained through controlled explosions or by advanced mining techniques. Once it has been mined, the platinum is extracted from the ore in the same way.

The platinum ore is not pure, so it is first crushed. This produces many tiny particles that can be treated. Air particles then bubble through an aeration tank and adhere to the platinum particles. This brings the platinum particles, with the air particles, up to the top of the tank. The layer of particles that ultimately forms can be skimmed off and refined into platinum.

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