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Journal of the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy

On-line version ISSN 2411-9717
Print version ISSN 0038-223X


DWORZANOWSKI, M. Maximizing haematite recovery within a fine and wide particle-size distribution using wet high-intensity magnetic separation. J. S. Afr. Inst. Min. Metall. [online]. 2014, vol.114, n.7, pp.559-568. ISSN 2411-9717.

The physical beneficiation of iron ore that has a wide particle-size distribution is problematic, regardless of the process applied, whether dense medium separation, gravity concentration, magnetic separation, or flotation. The problem of particle size is further compounded when there is a significant -10 µm fraction. Generally the approach to a wide particle-size distribution is to split into narrower size ranges and treat each separately. More often than not the -10 µm fraction is not treated but discarded. This approach results in a more complicated and expensive flow sheet and the loss of any potential value in the -10 µm fraction. Wet high-intensity magnetic separation (WHIMS) bench-scale test work was conducted on a haematite-rich material with a particle size of -200 µm What made this material different was that it contained a 60% -10 µm fraction, hence discarding the -10 µm material was not an option. The objective of the test work was to determine how to maximize the recovery of the haematite across the full particle size range. Given the unusual particle size distribution, it was concluded that WHIMS would be the only practical beneficiation route. The -200 +10 µm and -10 µm fractions were treated separately and together under varying WHIMS conditions. For a given concentrate grade, the mass yield obtained was greater when the total particle-size distribution was treated. The inferred optimum conditions, using the same material, were tested on a pilot-scale WHIMS and similar results were obtained.

Keywords : WHIMS; haematite recovery; particle size distribution; -10 µm fraction.

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