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Rejecting phosphorus in hematitic iron ore streams: is flotation the best approach?

Minerals & Metallurgical Processing , 2014, Vol. 31, No. 3, pp. 143-149

Carlson, J.J.; Kawatra, Komar


It is widely known that steel made from iron ore pellets high in phosphorus is brittle. Removal of phosphorus
from iron ores such as hematite has proven to be difficult. The majority of research on phosphorus removal from
hematite ores has been focused on flotation. The purpose of this study was to assess phosphorus distribution
under current operations at an existing hematite concentrator and determine how efficient the plant is at removing
phosphorus. Objectives included: (1) Perform a phosphorus balance at an operating plant to assess phosphorus
distribution under current operations; (2) Determine phosphorus removal efficiency of each separating unit and
(3) Perform a quantitative liberation analysis to determine max phosphorus removal by physical means. Liberation
was quantitatively determined using wet high intensity magnetic separation (WHIMS) to separate iron ore
from liberated apatite (and other nonmagnetic compounds).