Journal of the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
On-line version ISSN 2411-9717
The ilmenite, rutile and zircon processes of the Mineral Separation Plant generate tailing streams, which still contain valuable mineral. This is due to a combination of factors, which include separator equipment efficiency, particle size effects and inefficient operating practices (equipment overloading, blockage, etc.). Recent developments by metallurgical equipment suppliers have led to increased mineral separator performance enabling recovery of previously lost valuable mineral. Mineralogical studies were conducted using QEM*SEM and MLA techniques to identify and quantify gangue mineral species and determine mineral association. Laboratory and pilot-scale test work was then conducted to develop suitable process flowsheets for the recovery of ilmenite, rutile and zircon from current and stockpiled tailings.