AN AUSTRALIAN team has invented a new particle separator that could have a major impact on the metals industry.

University of Melbourne researcher have studied how compounds, including ores, avalanche naturally under gravity when in a tumbler.

The invention eliminates the clogging of holes (or "blinding") in flat bed separator screens.

They have calculated where to place individual holes for particles to fall through.

The machine can also separate copper from its plastic sheeting, both of which have intrinsic value individually but not combined.

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