The Minerals Research Laboratory (MRL) is a world leader in research, development and implementation of mineral processing techniques. The MRL is part of the North Carolina State University College of Engineering, under the management of the NC State Industry Expansion Solutions (IES).

We engineer success for North Carolina business one solution at a time by understanding our partners, building long-term relationships, crafting meaningful sustainable solutions, and inspiring continuous learning.

MRL serves clients across the state of North Carolina and in many different regions of the United States. and It also works with many international clients as well.

MRL Overview

The main focus of MRL’s research is the beneficiation of industrial minerals—that is, deriving and exploiting minerals for the benefit of commerce and industry. MRL’s experience in industrial minerals is unmatched by any university laboratory in the United States.

The lab conducts effective research through a unique partnership between industry, government and academia. Most of its research efforts are conducted for corporate sponsors. The research may be conducted on-site at client facilities or in its Asheville, North Carolina facility. As part of a Land Grant Institution, technical assistance and service to the public is also part of the MRL mission; as a result, the lab often undertakes public service projects. One of its most popular efforts is its educational outreach program. MRL also teaches a college-level course on mineral separation technology in conjunction with UNC-Asheville.

MRL Celebrating 75 Years of NC Mining Support

Mining has deep roots in the mineral-rich mountains of Western North Carolina. Before the California Gold Rush of 1849, North Carolina was the leading gold producer and pivotal to the nation’s economy. Today, North Carolina is the only producer of andalusite and pyrophyllite in the United States. North Carolina is also a significant source of common clay, feldspar, mica, phosphate rock, construction and industrial sand/gravel, and crushed stone (mostly granite). With the dominance of the North Carolina mineral industry has emerged the North Carolina Minerals Research Laboratory (MRL). Read More>

MRL Celebration 75 Years Event

The MRL celebrated 75 years of rock-solid minerals research on Friday, October 22, 2021.  More than 35 attended. Read More>

NC State’s Minerals Research Laboratory celebrates 75 years

For 75 years, the Minerals Research Laboratory (MRL) in Asheville has supported mining activities in North Carolina and throughout the U.S.

The lab, which was established in 1946, became a part of NC State’s College of Engineering in 1954. The College’s extension arm, Industry Expansion Solutions (IES), has handled operation of the lab since 2004. Dean Louis Martin-Vega will make a virtual visit to the MRL on Friday, Oct. 22, as part of its 75th anniversary celebration. Read More>

Rock/Mineral Kit Program Temporary Cessation

It is with great regret that the distribution of the NCSU Minerals Research Laboratory Rock/Mineral Kits will temporarily be suspended at this time. Since the inception of this program, kit requests have exponentially grown every year, and due to supply and demand conflicts, we must temporarily suspend the program component. We apologize for the inconvenience and hope to be able to reinstate this element of the MRL Educational Outreach Program when conceivable, as we know how important “free” educational material is to Educators. Thank you for your understanding.