Researchers at the U.S. Bureau of Mines' Tuscaloosa Research Center have measured the dielectric properties of over 60 minerals. Thirty-eight of these minerals have been identified as containing elements such as Co, Pt, and Ni, which are considered to be critical and strategic to the Nation. The dielectric properties were measured over the temperature range of 25° to325° C and microwave frequencies of 300 MHz to 3 GHz.
The data were analyzed to determine if trends could be detected in the dielectric properties of minerals having the same crystalline structure and/or mineralogical classification. Such trends would make possible realistic assumptions about how these classes of minerals would be affected by microwave energy without specific knowledge of their dielectric properties.