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A stream of particles, falling under gravity and influenced by air drag, is analysed under the influence of a transverse magnetic force. The magnetic particles are deflected and collide with other particles. Under reasonable approximations concerning the nature of the particles and the type of collisions, an average transverse magnetic velocity is derived, as well as a maximum stream width for complete separation, which may be as much as 0.6cm. This is then combined with the calculated throughput to obtain an optimised value, which may be as large as 6 tons/hour for a magnet of diameter 365mm.