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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

J. S. Afr. Inst. Min. Metall. vol.108 n.1 Johannesburg Jan. 2008




The development of a metallurgical flowsheet to treat tails



J.R. WalklateI; H. JeramII

IRichards Bay Minerals
IIHatch Associated Ltd




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.



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1. WIGHTMAN, E. Mineralogical Characterisation of RBM Tails Samples, Unpublished report, June 2005.         [ Links ]

2. Outokumpu Technology, Physical Characteristics of Select Minerals and Materials, May 2006.         [ Links ]

3. HOLLAND-BATT, A.B. Analysis of Mineral Separation Systems by means of Recovery Functions, Trans. Instn. Min. Metall. vol. 94, March 1985. pp. C17-C29.         [ Links ]

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