Zinc smelting is the process of converting zinc concentrates (ores that contain zinc) into pure zinc. Zinc smelting has historically been more difficult than the smelting of other metals, iron, because in contrast, zinc has a low boiling point.
Iron is extracted from iron ore in a huge container called a blast furnace. Iron ores such as haematite contain iron oxide. The oxygen must be removed from the iron oxide to leave the iron behind. Reactions in which oxygen is .
The zincoxide ore at the Shaimerden deposit in Kazakhstan, near Isfahan in Iran, and various deposits in the Kayseri, Turkey area, among others, are all processed through a Waelz kiln. At Shaimerden, it is known that the mineralogy and general geochemistry of the zincoxide ore are similar to that of the mineralization at Bongará.
: The processing mineralogy characteristics of an oxidized leadzinc ore from Sichuan were studied systematically using numerous modern instruments. Results showed that lead and zinc oxide content in the ore exceeded the minimum industrial grade, and also included a relatively high concentration of silver and iron.