Journal of the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
On-line version ISSN 2411-9717
Print version ISSN 0038-223X
This study investigates the enrichment of a low-grade colemanite concentrate (-3 mm) using a Knelson centrifugal gravity concentrator. Due to its low boron content, the concentrate is unsaleable and has to be stored under appropriate conditions to avoid potential environmental problems. The low-grade colemanite concentrate was comminuted to size fractions of -1 mm, -0.5 mm, and -0.15 mm before treatment in the Knelson Concentrator. The effects of particle size, fluidizing water velocity, and bowl speed on the enrichment process were examined. The B2O3 content of the concentrate was increased from 33.96% to a maximum of 45.52%. B2O3 recovery increased with increasing bowl speed and particle size, and decreased with increasing fluidizing water velocity. The enrichment process also rejected arsenic and iron to some extent, with a maximum reduction of arsenic from 1360 g/t to 765 g/t and iron from 0.88% to 0.33%.
Keywords : boron; colemanite; gravity concentration; centrifugal concentration; Knelson Concentrator.