Metallurgy deals with the extraction and collection of various minerals. From a competitive examination point of view, the number of questions asked from this topic are very limited. Nonetheless, we have to be prepared for any question that is given to us. Let us first look at question pattern for the previous year’s papers.

As you can see, it’s very rare that a question gets asked from this topic. The learning approach we adopt here is to learn about the important minerals and their extraction process. This way we can remember the methods with ease.


One of the most important topic from this chapter is the methods of extraction. The order and the temperatures involved in the extraction of an element should be learnt properly. The modes of extraction include calcination, roasting, reduction and smelting.

Purification methods need to be studied. These include levigation, magnetic separation, froth floatation process and leaching. After this, refining methods need to be studied in detail. These include liquation, distillation, poling, electro refining, zone refining and vapor phase refining. An important diagram in this chapter is the Ellingham diagram. The Ellingham diagram plots the energy of formation against temperature. Extraction of iron and the related equations need to be memorized.