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Characterization and Separation Studies of a Fine Sedimentary Phosphate Ore Slime

1, 1,2,3,4,*, 1,2,4, 1,2,4 and 1
College of Resource and Environmental Engineering, Wuhan University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430081, China
Hubei Collaborative Innovation Center for High Efficient Utilization of Vanadium Resources, Wuhan 430081, China
College of Resource and Environment Engineering, Wuhan University of Technology, Wuhan 430070, China
Hubei Provincial Engineering Technology Research Center of High efficient Cleaning Utilization for Shale Vanadium Resource, Wuhan 430081, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Massimiliano Zanin
Minerals 2017, 7(6), 94;
Received: 17 April 2017 / Revised: 11 May 2017 / Accepted: 5 June 2017 / Published: 7 June 2017
PDF [1666 KB, uploaded 7 June 2017]


Detailed characterization and recovery of apatite from a sedimentary phosphate ore slime of a gravity plant of Yichang, China, were investigated. The phosphate ore slime consisted mainly of apatite, quartz, dolomite, and clay. To start with, the ore slime was characterized in sufficient detail to reveal that it is extremely fine in distribution with a d50 of 65 μm. Other different characterizations, such as apatite grain size distribution, apatite liberation, particle density distribution, and theoretical grade recovery, were also analyzed by mineral liberation analyser (MLA). Based on the results, a new gravity-flotation process, which was comprised of spiral gravity and reverse flotation, was proposed to process the slime. In the new process, the apatite was firstly recovered by two-stage spiral gravity, avoiding direct flotation. The gravity concentrate was the feed for the reverse flotation. A phosphate concentrate of 30.51% P2O5 with a P2O5 recovery of 89.00% can be produced from the slime analyzing 24.25% P2O5. Compared to the conventional direct-reverse flotation process, it was found that the reagent cost of the new gravity-flotation process was lower a quarter than that of the direct-reverse flotation flowsheet. View Full-Text
Keywords: phosphate ore slime; characterization; gravity separation; direct-reverse flotation phosphate ore slime; characterization; gravity separation; direct-reverse flotation

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Liu, X.; Zhang, Y.; Liu, T.; Cai, Z.; Sun, K. Characterization and Separation Studies of a Fine Sedimentary Phosphate Ore Slime. Minerals 2017, 7, 94.

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