Friction and wear affect all processes involved in the extraction of materials and their conversion into finished products. Physical contact between tool, die, clamp or any other device that contacts the processed material is the basic cause of wear. Excessive friction imposes limits on the efficiency of cutting tools, dies and many other equipment. Wear is a severe problem in the extraction and primary processing of raw materials and even the conveyance of raw materials from mine site to refinery imposes additional problems of wear. Therefore research and development into means of controlling friction and wear in materials processing is actively pursued by many research groups. The mast well established method to control friction and wear is by the application of lubricants. Although the development of solid and liquid lubricants has greatly advanced materials processing it still do not give an ideal performance. Lubricants also bring pollution and health hazards. Two types of substitutes for lubricants are being developed: advanced materials such as ceramics to replace metals for the construction of tools, dies etc.; surface coatings to provide wear resistant and low friction coatings without the need for lubricants. Projected benefits from these newer technologies are low levels of friction and wear, economy in the use of expensive hard metals, less pollution and toxicity hazards. In this paper current developments into friction and wear control in materials processing are reviewed.