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Open AccessArticle

The Characteristics of Iron Ore Slimes and Their Influence on The Flotation Process

1
Av. Dr. Marco Paulo Simon Jardim, 3580 Bairro Piemonte, Nova Lima CEP 34.006-200, MG, Brazil
2
Vale Institute of Technology, Avenida Juscelino Kubitschek, Bauxita Ouro Preto 31, MG, Brazil
3
Université de Lorraine, CNRS, GeoRessources, F54000 Nancy, France
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Minerals 2020, 10(8), 675; https://doi.org/10.3390/min10080675
Received: 21 May 2020 / Revised: 13 July 2020 / Accepted: 22 July 2020 / Published: 30 July 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Mineral Processing and Extractive Metallurgy)
The flotation has been successfully applied to process the iron ore for the particle size (Ps) from 10 µm up to 150 µm. The presence of the slimes (Ps < 10 µm) is harmful on the reverse flotation of quartz, so they are usually prior removed by hydrocyclones. The main effects of the presence of slimes on the flotation are related to the increase on reagents consumption, the froth stability, and decrease on the selectivity. The lower floatability of coarse quartz particles (+74 µm) combined with the presence of slimes, even in small quantities, drastically affect the flotation response. This paper shows a study of characterization of a typical iron ore slime, aiming to create a better understanding of its role on the concentration by flotation. The main characteristics of typical slimes from the Iron Ore Quadrangle in Brazil are the presence of almost 70% of hematite, 25% of quartz, and 5% of kaolinite, as the main silicates gangue minerals. Furthermore, the particle size distribution revealed that 80% of the hematite and the kaolinite are below 20 µm. The affinity between the ultrafine kaolinite of the slimes with the corn starch is harmful to the reverse flotation of quartz, as the starch has an important depressing action over the hematite. The presence of 20% of hematite −20 µm decreased the recovery to the froth of quartz + 74 µm from 97% to 62%, where the slimes coating seems to be the main responsible. View Full-Text
Keywords: iron ore; slimes; kaolinite; flotation iron ore; slimes; kaolinite; flotation
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MDPI and ACS Style

Lima, N.P.; Silva, K.; Souza, T.; Filippov, L. The Characteristics of Iron Ore Slimes and Their Influence on The Flotation Process. Minerals 2020, 10, 675. https://doi.org/10.3390/min10080675

AMA Style

Lima NP, Silva K, Souza T, Filippov L. The Characteristics of Iron Ore Slimes and Their Influence on The Flotation Process. Minerals. 2020; 10(8):675. https://doi.org/10.3390/min10080675

Chicago/Turabian Style

Lima, Neymayer P.; Silva, Klaydison; Souza, Thiago; Filippov, Lev. 2020. "The Characteristics of Iron Ore Slimes and Their Influence on The Flotation Process" Minerals 10, no. 8: 675. https://doi.org/10.3390/min10080675

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