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Nature of low-grade Indian iron ores and the prospects of their enrichment through gravity separation

Minerals & Metallurgical Processing , 2009, Vol. 26, No. 3, pp. 141-150

Roy, S.; Das, A.


Soft laminated iron ore (SLO) having a higher hematite content and Martite goethite iron ore (MGO) having a higher goethite content were subjected to detailed characterization and beneficiation. The present research was designed to investigate if these abundant, low-grade ores can be enriched adequately using standard industry techniques. No significant enrichment of the ores using jigging operation on the coarse (-3,200 +595 mm) size fraction could be achieved. Good liberation was only attained in the 150 to 300 µm particle size range in both cases. Desliming enriches the ground ores significantly. The effect of the feed size on the separation efficiencies of the ground ores were studied using flowing-film concentration on a Wilfley table. Better enrichment is obtained in the case of 150-mm sized feed by tabling. The grade of SLO is improved from 56.14% to 66.51% Fe, while the Fe content of MGO is enriched from 55.16% to 65.83%. Substantial rejection of alumina and silica is also achieved. Due to the friable nature of MGO and the higher goethite content in it, the loss of Fe in the form of ultrafines is greater in this case compared to that of SLO.