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Mining and beneficiation of lunar oresThe beneficiation of lunar plagioclase and ilmenite ores to feedstock grade permits a rapid growth of the space manufacturing economy by maximizing the production rate of metals and oxygen. A beneficiation scheme based on electrostatic and magnetic separation is preferred over conventional schemes, but such a scheme cannot be completely modeled because beneficiation processes are empirical and because some properties of lunar minerals have not been measured. To meet anticipated shipping and processing needs, the peak lunar mining rate will exceed 1000 tons/hr by the fifth year of operation. Such capabilities will be best obtained by automated mining vehicles and conveyor systems rather than trucks. It may be possible to extract about 40 kg of volatiles (60 percent H2O) by thermally processing the less than 20 micron ilmenite concentrate extracted from 130 tons of ilmenite ore. A thermodynamic analysis of an extraction process is presented.
Document ID
Document Type
Bunch, T. E. (NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, CA, United States)
Williams, R. J. (NASA Johnson Space Center)
Mckay, D. S. (NASA Johnson Space Center)
Giles, D. (Rio Amex Corp.)
Date Acquired
August 9, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1979
Publication Information
Publication: Space Resources and Space Settlements
Subject Category
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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IDRelationTitle19790024054Analytic PrimarySpace Resources and Space Settlements
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