Dry versus wet upgrading of nepheline syenite ores
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King Abdulaziz University
Hussin A. M. Ahmed
Mining Engineering Department, Faculty of Engineering, King Abdulaziz University, P.O. Box 80204, Jeddah 21589, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Publication date: 2011-01-01
Physicochem. Probl. Miner. Process. 2011;46(1):107–118
Under strict specifications regarding its iron, alumina, and alkali contents, nephelyine synite has a wide range of applications as filler, pigment and extender besides its usage in glass and ceramic industries. Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has huge nepheline syenite deposits in SAWDA mountain. Unfortunately, the ore is of low grade as to its high iron content (7.68% Fe2O3) and low alumina (17.38% Al2O3), and thus cannot be used in any of the previously mentioned industries as mined. This paper aims at investigating the amenability of processing the ore to meet market specifications. In the investigation two different technologies, dry and wet, are considered. The first is magnetic separation as a dry upgrading technique while the second is flotation as the wet upgrading technique. In applying magnetic separation technique the cross belt dings magnetic separator was used. The main studied variables were applied field intensity, separator belt speed, feed rate, and feed size, while the collector dosages were tested for upgrading the ore by flotation technology in a Denver D-12 flotation cell. The obtained results showed that magnetic separation can never produce nepheline concentrates having Fe2O3 less than 0.85%. It was also found that at optimum flotation conditions the nepheline concentrates have Fe2O3 content not less than 0.40%. However, combining the two techniques i.e. applying flotation under optimum conditions for cleaning of the previously obtained magnetic concentrate resulted in a final concentrate of 0.09% Fe2O3 with Al2O3 content of 23.58%. The produced concentrate can be used in many industrial applications, especially in glass and ceramics production.