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Effect of Depressants and Temperature on Bastnaesite and Monazite Flotation Separation from a Canadian Rare Earth Element (REE) Ore

GMN—Department of Mining, Metallurgical and Materials Engineering, Université Laval, Quebec, QC G1V 0A6, Canada
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Minerals 2019, 9(4), 225; https://doi.org/10.3390/min9040225
Received: 13 March 2019 / Revised: 5 April 2019 / Accepted: 8 April 2019 / Published: 10 April 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Flotation Reagents)
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Abstract

A full factorial experimental design was conducted to investigate the effect of temperature and depressants on the flotation of monazite and bastnaesite from carbonate gangue minerals. Temperature, sodium silicate, and guar gum dosage were examined. Mineral reconstruction from energy-dispersive x-ray fluorescence (EDXRF) data was performed to quantify bastnaesite, monazite, and gangue mineral recoveries. Bastnaesite and monazite both follow first-order rates of recovery, with bastnaesite recovering faster and to a larger extent than monazite. The main gangue minerals were depressed together. Optimal separation efficiency was achieved using a larger Na2SiO3 dosage (2400 g/t), no guar gum addition, and a high temperature (75 °C). The rate of bastnaesite recovery increased with the temperature, while sodium silicate improved the ultimate recovery. An economic analysis was performed to evaluate the impact of increasing Rare Earth Element (REE) recovery by allowing a lower grade concentrate to be generated. Despite the high value of REEs, increasing recovery by producing a concentrate bearing more than 68 wt % carbonaceous gangue was uneconomical. View Full-Text
Keywords: rare earth elements; flotation; kinetics; bastnaesite; monazite; sodium silicate; guar gum rare earth elements; flotation; kinetics; bastnaesite; monazite; sodium silicate; guar gum
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Boulanger, J.-F.; Bazin, C.; Turgeon, K. Effect of Depressants and Temperature on Bastnaesite and Monazite Flotation Separation from a Canadian Rare Earth Element (REE) Ore. Minerals 2019, 9, 225.

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