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Beneficiation of a low-grade, hematite-magnetite ore in China

Minerals & Metallurgical Processing , 2014, Vol. 31, No. 2, pp. 136-142

Liu, Siqing; Zhao, Yang; Wang, Wanping; Wen, Shuming


In China, most reserves of rich iron ores have now been depleted and sustainable development of low-grade iron ores has become a critical discussion topic in the mining industry today. The aim of this study was to evaluate the applicability of beneficiating a low-grade, hematite-magnetite ore (assaying 18.64% Fe) for subsequent utilization. In this study, process mineralogy and beneficiation of the ore were carried out in the laboratory. First, mineralogical investigation shows that the main metal minerals are hematite, magnetite and a little octahedrite that cannot be used at present, and the main gangue minerals include albite, quartz and ankerite. Based on the above, a combined process of magnetic separation and gravity concentration has been developed by using laboratory low- and high- intensity magnetic separators and a slimes shaking table, respectively. Factors affecting these separation methods are discussed, including process mineralogy on the tailings of the high-intensity separator, where the iron minerals were found to be finely disseminated in the gangue as inclusions. By applying a two-stage grinding step and a magnetic separation stage together with gravity concentration, a marketable iron concentrate assaying 60.79% Fe at a recovery of 60.23% can be obtained, when the feed assays 18.75%Fe, which provides some useful information for the sustainable use of low-grade iron ore.