Geometallurgy is an interdisciplinary field aimed at describing potential ore deposits in terms that mine planners and economists can use to design and run profitable mining operations. The major geologic contribution to the field is defining the spatial variability of potential and active mining resources so that planning and scheduling can accurately predict the economic performance and environmental impact of mining in time to respond efficiently to variations in ore type. This information is needed at the feasibility stage and throughout the mine life. We review the available literature on how geologists have contributed to these predictions in the past. There have been substantial advances in predicting comminution behavior. Prediction of recovery and environmental impacts are less advanced. This introductory paper provides a brief review of geometallurgy and a synopsis of the papers in the Special Issue, along with suggestions on future directions.

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