Chromite foundry sands, mixed with binding resins, are employed in the industry to form molds for high demanding casting of metals and steel. As there is no substitute, these sands highly contribute to placing chromium at the top value of the economic importance parameter in the EU classification of critical raw materials. Finding new sources to produce these sands can contribute to lowering its criticality. Chromite foundry sands must meet strict quality parameters, referred to as Cr2
content, Fineness Index, SiO2
content, and Acid Demand. The foundry chromite market is dominated by South Africa production deriving from layered intrusion chromite deposits. Chromite sands from ophiolite chromite deposits, normally used for the metallurgical-grade chromite market, were tested as an alternative starting raw material to produce chromite foundry sands. The study of the silicate impurities assemblage showed that its mineralogy strongly affects the result of the most crucial parameter, the Acid Demand. Ophiolite chromite with serpentine impurities should be depurated to a hardly affordable 0.31% SiO2
content to meet Acid Demand quality threshold, due to high reactivity of this silicate with the acid environment of the test. Those with olivine impurities require to be depurated to a much more easily affordable 2.11% SiO2
content. As a result, ophiolite chromite with an olivine dominated silicate assemblage can be used as an alternative source of chromite foundry sands.
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