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Lead Process
Lead is a dense, soft, low-melting metal. It is an important component of batteries, and about 75% of the world's lead production is consumed by the battery industry. Lead is the densest common metal except for gold, and this quality makes it effective in sound barriers and as a shield against X-rays. Lead resists corrosion by water, so it has long been used in the plumbing industry. It is also added to paints, and it makes a long-lasting roofing material.

Lead is a health hazard to humans if it is inhaled or ingested, interfering with the production of red blood cells. Its use must be carefully controlled, and several formerly common uses of lead are now restricted by the U.S. government. Lead paint is found in many older buildings, but it is now mostly used on outdoor steel structures such as bridges, to improve their weatherability. A lead compound called tetraethyl lead was added to gasoline as early as 1921 because it prevented the "knocking" problem of high-compression automobile engines. However, most gasoline now contains no lead, because lead from car exhaust was a major source of air pollution.

Lead is also commonly used in glass and enamel. In television picture tubes and computer video display terminals, lead helps block radiation, and the inner, though not the outer, portion of the common light bulb is made of leaded glass. Lead also increases the strength and brilliance of crystal glassware. Lead is used to make bearings and solder, and it is important in rubber production and oil refining.

Lead production dates back at least 8,000 years. Lead was used in Egypt as early as 5,000 B.C. , and in the time of the Pharaohs it was used in pottery glazes and as solder. It was also cast into ornamental objects. A white lead paint was also used in ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome. Ancient Rome used lead pipes for its extensive water works. Some of the toxic effects of lead were also noted as early as the Roman era, though lead was also thought to have positive medical qualities. In the 15th and 16th centuries, builders used lead as a roofing material for cathedrals, and lead was also used to hold together the different panels of colored glass in stained glass windows. The first lead battery is credited to a French physicist, Gaston Plante, who invented it in 1859. By 1889, so-called lead-acid storage batteries of the modern type were being commercially produced.

Modern lead mines produce about 3 million metric tons of lead annually. This is only about half the lead used worldwide; the remainder is obtained by recycling. The top producer of lead is Australia, followed by the United States, China, and Canada. Other countries with major lead deposits are Mexico, Peru, Russia, and Kazakhstan.

Lead is extracted from ores dug from under-ground mines. More than 60 minerals contain some form of lead, but only three are usually mined for lead production.
Coper Mining
The most common is called galena. The pure form of galena contains only lead and sulfur, but it is usually found with traces of other metals in it, including silver, copper, zinc, cadmium, and antimony as well as arsenic. Two other minerals commercially mined for lead are cerussite and anglesite. Over 95% of all lead mined is derived from one of these three minerals. However, most deposits of these ores are not found alone but mixed with other minerals such as pyrite, marcasite, and zinc blende. Therefore much lead ore is obtained as a byproduct of other metal mining, usually zinc or silver. Only half of all lead used yearly derives from mining, as half is recovered through recycling, mostly of automobile batteries.

Besides the ore itself, only a few raw materials are necessary for the refining of lead. The ore concentrating process requires pine oil, alum, lime, and xanthate. Limestone or iron ore is added to the lead ore during the roasting process. Coke, a coal distillate, is used to further heat the ore.

Lead Precessing - From the mine to the finished product:

i. Mining the ore:

The first step in retrieving lead-bearing ore is to mine it underground. Workers using heavy machinery drill the rock from deep tunnels with heavy machinery or blast it with dynamite, leaving the ore in pieces. Then they shovel the ore onto loaders and trucks, and haul it to a shaft. The shaft at a large mine may be a mile or more from the drill or blast site. The miners dump the ore down the shaft, and from there it is hoisted to the surface.

ii. Concentrating the ore:

iii. Concentrating:

iv. Flotation:

v. Filtering:

vi. Roasting the ore:

vii. Blasting:

viii. Refining:

ix. Costing:

x. Byproducts/Waste:

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