Mineral processing plants use two main processes; these are comminution and separation. The objective of the comminution process is to break complex particles consisting of numerous minerals into smaller simpler particles where individual particles consist primarily of only one mineral. The process in which the mineral composition distribution in particles changes due to breakage is called 'liberation'. The purpose of separation is to separate particles consisting of valuable mineral from those containing nonvaluable mineral. The energy required to break particles to fine sizes is expensive, and therefore the mineral processing engineer must design the circuit so that the breakage of liberated particles is reduced in favour of breaking composite particles. In order to effectively optimize a circuit through simulation it is necessary to predict how the mineral composition distributions change due to comminution. Such a model is called a 'liberation model for comminution'. It was generally considered that such a model should incorporate information about the ore, such as the texture. However, the relationship between the feed and product particles can be estimated using a probability method, with the probability being defined as the probability that a feed particle of a particular composition and size will form a particular product particle of a particular size and composition. The model is based on maximizing the entropy of the probability subject to mass constraints and composition constraint. Not only does this methodology allow a liberation model to be developed for binary particles, but also for particles consisting of many minerals. Results from applying the model to real plant ore are presented. A laboratory ball mill was used to break particles. The results from this experiment were used to estimate the kernel which represents the relationship between parent and progeny particles. A second feed, consisting primarily of heavy particles subsampled from the main ore was then ground through the same mill. The results from the first experiment were used to predict the product of the second experiment. The agreement between the predicted results and the actual results are very good. It is therefore recommended that more extensive validation is needed to fully evaluate the substance of the method. (C) 2003 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.