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Journal of the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy

On-line version ISSN 2411-9717
Print version ISSN 2225-6253


PERROTON, A.; WALLMACH, T.; BLANCHER, S.B.  and  RAMEAU, G.. A geometallurgical approach to enhance the gravity beneficiation of a strontium deposit. J. S. Afr. Inst. Min. Metall. [online]. 2020, vol.120, n.2, pp.131-138. ISSN 2411-9717.

Mineralogical analyses and QEMSCAN® process simulation were used to characterize a heavy mineral concentrate of celestine originating from the Beni Mansour deposit in Algeria, and to model a gravity separation process to remove Sr-, Ba-, and Ca-bearing impurity phases. By analysing the partitioning of Ba, it was shown that the very small amounts of barite present in the sample could not account for the chemically derived Ba concentration in the total sample. It was therefore decided to investigate the presence of Ba that could replace the Sr in celestine in the form of solid solution substitution. It was found that some celestine particles displayed zonation textures with respect to Ba, resulting in difficulties in meaningfully reducing the Ba content without a significant loss of Sr. It was shown that the removal of all barite would lead to a minimum of 0.65 wt% Ba in the final celestine concentrate. Density separation modelling by QEMSCAN® software showed that the 3.5-4.0 g/cm3 density fraction had higher Sr and celestine concentrations, as high as 46.33 wt% Sr. In this particular fraction, the Ba and Ca contents could be reduced to 0.72 wt% and 0.49 wt% respectively.

Keywords : process mineralogy; geometallurgy; modelling; density separation; QEMSCAN®.

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