Journal of the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
On-line version ISSN 2411-9717
GLASTONBURY, R.I. et al. Comparison of physical properties of oxidative sintered pellets produced with UG2 or metallurgical-grade South African chromite: A case study. J. S. Afr. Inst. Min. Metall. [online]. 2015, vol.115, n.8, pp. 699-706. ISSN 2411-9717. http://dx.doi.org/10.17159/2411-9717/2015/V115N8A6.
The physical properties of oxidative sintered pellets produced from typical South African UG2 ore are compared with the physical properties of pellets produced with conventional South African metallurgical-grade chromite ore (from the Lower Group 6 or the Middle Group 1 and 2 seams). A statistical evaluation of the cured (sintered) compressive strengths proved that pellets prepared from UG2 ore are likely to have the same, or better, compressive strength than pellets prepared from metallurgical-grade chromite ore. The cured abrasion strength of the UG2 pellets was also superior to that of the metallurgical-grade pellets. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) backscatter, secondary electron, and elemental X-ray mapping were used to determine the reasons for the general superior strength of the UG2 pellets. The case study UG2 ore also required 13 kWh/t less energy for milling to attain the required particle size distribution prior to pelletization, which can lead to substantial cost savings. Results presented in this paper can be utilized by ferrochromium (FeCr) producers to better quantify the advantages and disadvantages associated with the use of UG2 ore for FeCr production.
Keywords : South Africa; UG2; metallurgical-grade chromite; oxidative sintered pellets; compressive and abrasion strengths; milling energy requirements.