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Type: Journal article
Title: Flotation recovery of rare earth oxides from hematite-quartz mixture using sodium oleate as a collector
Author: Abaka-Wood, G.
Fosu, S.
Addai-Mensah, J.
Skinner, W.
Citation: Minerals Engineering, 2019; 141:105847-1-105847-11
Publisher: Elsevier
Issue Date: 2019
ISSN: 0892-6875
Statement of
George Blankson Abaka-Wood, Shadrach Fosu, Jonas Addai-Mensah, William Skinner
Abstract: Froth flotation plays a significant role in the beneficiation of rare earth elements (REE) minerals from differing ores. Monazite has been identified as one of the principal REE minerals in most iron oxide silicate rich tailings generated in Australia from the extraction of primary commodities such as copper and gold. These tailings generally contain hematite and quartz as the major gangue minerals. A previous investigation has identified almost identical flotation response between monazite and hematite in the presence of anionic collectors. Therefore, it is necessary to investigate the feasibility of selective flotation of rare earth oxides (REO) in monazite from hematite–quartz mixtures, to identify cost-effective processing methods. The flotation conditions for selective REO separation from model minerals mixtures were tested in a 1.2 L Denver flotation cell using sodium oleate as a collector. Sodium silicate and starch were tested as depressants for hematite and quartz. Results from the flotation tests revealed that the increased dosage of sodium oleate led to an increase in REO recovery with a corresponding decrease in upgrade, and increased hematite (Fe₂O₃) and quartz (SiO₂) recoveries. In the absence of depressants, the separation of REO from a low grade mixture (0.83% REO feed grade) was unselective, where 3000 g/t sodium oleate recovered 98% REO at a grade of 1.31% (enrichment ratio, E = 1.58) along with 77% Fe₂O₃ and 37% SiO₂ recoveries. However, the depressants reduced the flotation recovery of Fe₂O₃ and SiO₂, which was shown by an improvement in REO grade. The flotation recovery of REO decreased to 84% with a corresponding increase in grade to 4.13% when 1000 g/t sodium silicate was used in the presence of 3000 g/t sodium oleate. Furthermore, 1000 g/t starch in the presence of 3000 g/t sodium oleate increased REO concentrate grade to 5.56% although the recovery decreased to 65%. Subsequently, a rougher–scavenger flotation test conducted with the mixed depressants (sodium silicate: starch, 1:1) produced a final concentrate recovering 61% REO at a grade of 6.25%. This study has shown that REO can be separated selectively from hematite–quartz rich mixtures by flotation when using sodium oleate as the collector and sodium silicate and starch as depressants.
Keywords: Flotation; hematite; monazite; quartz; sodium oleate; sodium silicate; starch
Rights: © 2019 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
RMID: 1000005362
DOI: 10.1016/j.mineng.2019.105847
Appears in Collections:Chemical Engineering publications

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