A laboratory investigation was carried out on the characterization and beneficiation of sillimanite ore. Petrographic analysis indicated that the ore consisted of massive elongated sillimanite grains in a matrix of hematite, garnet, feldspar and silica. A procedure for estimating the percentage of sillimanite was developed using float-sink and magnetic-separation techniques. A liberation study was carried out to determine the level of size reduction required to achieve sufficient liberation while ensuring that gravity concentration techniques would be applicable. Laboratory testing was performed on the liberated ore to investigate the applicability of using wide-angle dense-medium cycloning to upgrade this ore. Initially, medium-only tests were carried out using various size distributions of magnetite and ferrosilicon as the dense-medium solids to evaluate the effects of operating conditions on medium segregation. Depending on the medium solids and operating conditions, either positive of negative differentials (difference between the relative densities of the underflow and overflow streams) were obtained. Based on these results, separation tests were performed to process nominal -1.2-mm sillimanite ore. The results indicated that sillimanite concentration could be obtained using a medium relative density that was much lower than would typically be used in a dense-medium cyclone separation.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Control and Systems Engineering
- Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
- Mechanical Engineering
- Metals and Alloys
- Materials Chemistry