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Minerals 2018, 8(1), 20; doi:10.3390/min8010020

Recovery and Purification of Tin from Tailings from the Penouta Sn–Ta–Nb Deposit

1
National Center for Metallurgical Research (CENIM), CSIC, 28040 Madrid, Spain
2
Strategic Minerals Spain S.L., 32558 Penouta, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 17 November 2017 / Revised: 22 December 2017 / Accepted: 8 January 2018 / Published: 12 January 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Minerals in Mine Wastes: Contributions to the Circular Economy)
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Abstract

A concentrate obtained from mining tailings containing mainly cassiterite and columbotantalite was reduced for the production of tin metal. The compounds CaCO3, Na2CO3, K2CO3, and borax were used as fluxes in the pyrometallurgical reduction smelting process, and graphite was employed as the reducing agent. The greatest recovery of Sn (>95%) was obtained when using CaCO3 as the flux; the purity of Sn was 96%. A slag equivalent to 25% of the mass of the initial concentrate was produced during the recovery of the Sn. This contained 45% Nb2O5 and Ta2O5, adding extra value to the mine tailings. The tin metal ingot was purified by electrorefining involving a tin and H2SO4 electrolyte solution and a 101.9 A/m2 current applied for 148 h. Under these conditions, 90 wt % of the Sn in the ingot was recovered at a purity of 99.97%. View Full-Text
Keywords: cassiterite; columbotantalite; pyrometallurgical reduction smelting process; tin; electrorefining; calcium-niobium-tantalum oxides cassiterite; columbotantalite; pyrometallurgical reduction smelting process; tin; electrorefining; calcium-niobium-tantalum oxides
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

López, F.A.; García-Díaz, I.; Rodríguez Largo, O.; Polonio, F.G.; Llorens, T. Recovery and Purification of Tin from Tailings from the Penouta Sn–Ta–Nb Deposit. Minerals 2018, 8, 20.

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