Metallurgical mineral separation makes use of the large differences in dielectric properties of individual minerals (Thirumalai, 1970; Jordan et. al, 1980). Microwave heating for thermal rock fragmentation uses differences in the complex electrical properties of rock due to inhomogeneities in composition, structure, and texture. Knowledge of the relative complex permittivity is required to determine the differential absorption of microwave energy in an aggregate of minerals (rock).

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