Refining processes extract valuable metals from ores or other raw materials.
They fall into two basic types: pyrometallurgical (dry) and hydrometallurgical (wet). At SMM’s Toyo facilities in Ehime Prefecture, the copper concentrate pre-processing undertaken at Saijo uses pyrometallurgical processes and the nickel refining at the Niihama site uses hydrometallurgical processes entirely.
The term "smelting" is used for the extraction of metal from ores using melting and heating (pyrometallurgy). The term ‘refining’ refers to any process that increases the grade or purity of a metal.