Document Type : Case Study


1 Department of Mining Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, University of Birjand, Birjand, Iran

2 Senior Process Engineer, Sangan Iron Ore Complex (SIOC), Khaf, Iran


Beneficiation of a low-grade iron ore was investigated by combination of the low-intensity magnetic separation and reverse flotation methods. The main constituents of the representative sample were 36.86% Fe, 8.1% FeO, 14.2% CaO, 13.6% SiO2, and 0.12% S based on the X-ray fluorescence, titration, and Leco analysis methods. The mineralogical studies by the X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, electron probe micro-analyzer, and Fe/FeO titration methods showed that the ore minerals present in the representative sample were magnetite, hematite, and goethite, and the main gangue minerals were calcite and quartz. The effects of the operating parameters including the feed size, solid content, and drum rotation speed were investigated on the performance of the wet low-intensity magnetic separation (WLIMS). The optimum operating conditions of WLIMS were determined to be feed size = 135 μm, solid content = 40%, and drum rotation speed = 50 rpm. Under these conditions, a concentrate of 62.69% Fe grade and 55.99% recovery was produced. The tailing of WLIMS with an iron grade of 28.75% was upgraded by reverse flotation with fatty acids as the collector. The effects of five parameters on two levels were investigated using the 25-1 fractional factorial design in 16 experiments. The optimum flotation conditions were determined to be pH = 12; dosage of collector, 1 kg/t; dosage of Ca2+ as activator, 4 kg/t; and dosage of starch as depressant, 1 kg/t. Under these conditions, a concentrate of 53.4% Fe grade and 79.91% recovery was produced.


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