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Mineral Separation Facilities at ISU*

1) The first stage of mineral separation involves crushing fist-size chunks into gravel size particles using a Bico Chipmunk jaw crusher.

3) Following rock pulverization, crushed rock is fed onto a Wilfley wet shaking table, which coarsely separates the dense minerals in the rock.

5) Once magnetic minerals are removed, heavy liquids are used to separate out minerals with specific gravities >3.32 (zircon) or 2.85 (apatite).

7) The final step in preparation involves surrounding mineral grains with epoxy, polishing (depending on analysis methods), and imaging.

2) The second stage of separation utilizes a Bico UA Pulverizer that produces a fine powder.

4) Once the dense minerals have been isolated from the rock, the sample is passed through a Frantz barrier field magnetic separator.

6) Following a thorough cleaning, inclusion-free minerals are selected and measured (if appropriate, e.g., (U-Th)/He thermochronology) using an Olympus stereographic microscope.

*See lab site for detailed lab methods