HELGES – Mineral Separation

GFZ - German Research Centre for Geosciences
last updated: March 4, 2024

About the Laboratory

HELGES – Mineral Separation

GFZ - German Research Centre for Geosciences
@ Section 3.3 Earth Surface Geochemistry
This Laboratory is part of:


  • Tbd
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In order to dissolve minerals from its compound that are suitable for radiometric dating and to get rid of their adhesions in the best possible way, the stone is ground several times with the jaw crusher and the roller mill. The minerals suitable for the chosen dating methodology are separated using density differences, magnetic properties and grain shape. Subsequently, the millbase is sieved; the finer grain fraction is of interest for further processing.
The Wilfley wet-shaking hearth works on the same principle as the washing pan and requires an enrichment of the heavy minerals. Roughly, very large sample quantities can be divided into fractions of different densities.
The heavy fractions from the wet-shaking hearth and pre-separated fractions by means of magnetic separators are further separated with heavy liquids such as bromoform (density 2.82 g / cm³) and diiodomethane (3.3 g / cm³). Light minerals such as quartz or alkali feldspar float in bromoform. Heavy miners such as zirconium, monazite, garnet sink in bromoform and diiodomethane.


  • Heavy Liquid Separation Line
  • Frantz Magnetic Separator
  • Jaw Crusher
  • Filter
  • Roll Mill
  • Wilfley Shaker Table
  • Sieve

Analytical Methods

  • Mineral Separation
  • Crushing
  • Filtration
  • Grinding
  • Milling
  • Sieving

Laboratory Keywords

  • Rock Preparation