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|The design and operation of coal preparation plants are governed by the inherent quality of the raw coal to be processed, market specifications and the saleable tonnage requirements. Topography influences the layout of the plant but does not affect the process design. The coal market comprises many sectors, each having specific requirements with respect to both size and quality. In turn, these have led to different levels of preparation and the development of specific types of coal preparation plant design. Developments in processing techniques and processing equipment have also influenced the design and now give the preparation engineer numerous permutations in process and equipment selection. This paper gives an overview of the coal industry in general and summarizes some of the developments in the design of plants and technical developments in the areas of dense medium processing, fine coal treatment and equipment design.|