The effects of ore type and leaching conditions (e.g., temperature and solid/liquid ratio) on the settling behavior of laterite acid leach residues were investigated. Settling rate, supernatant turbidity, and filtrability of the slurry were used in evaluating the settling behavior. The slurries showed three different regimes of sedimentation, involving free, hindered, and compression settling behavior. An improvement in the dewatering characteristics of the leach residues was observed as the leaching temperature was increased. Furthermore, the leach residues showed markedly different settling behaviors depending on the temperature. Below 175°C, the settling rate for both 2.5 and 25 pct solids increased steadily with temperature. However, the results indicated clearly that at higher temperatures (>175°C), there is a steep increase in settling rate. These pronounced differences in settling behavior with temperature increase are believed to be due to the sharp increase in particle size above 175°C. The mineral content in the ore has a great effect on the settling behavior of the leach residues. It was found that the oxide-silicate material (Ore No. 2 leach residues) showed a lower settling rate than the iron-rich material (Ore No. 1 leach residues). This behavior is attributable to the presence of a gelatinous, siliceous product in the Ore No. 2 leached pulp.
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