Metallurgy

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Metallurgy is the study of metals. It can be subdivided into physical metallurgy, which addresses the physical properties of metals, and extractive metallurgy, which concerns itself with the processes by which they are produced.

The field is also divided into ferrous (iron-based) and non-ferrous metals. Ferrous metals are the most important metals in the Earth's economy, with mild steel alone accounting for about 95% of total metal production.

Martian metallurgy

Martian extraction process will depend significantly on if past geophysical processes have created concentrations of ore bearing minerals. The most common metals on Mars, as on Earth, are Silicon, Aluminium, Iron, calcium, potassium, sodium and magnesium. All of these are present in the form of oxides or sulfates, free metals being very rare in nature.

Mars' lower gravity may affect floatation separation processes that are common in mineral processing on Earth.