Application of magnetic separation technology for the processing of a colemanite ore

Alp I.

JOURNAL OF THE SOUTHERN AFRICAN INSTITUTE OF MINING AND METALLURGY, vol.109, no.2, pp.139-145, 2009 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier


Application of magnetic separation was investigated for the enrichment of colemanite ores by removing the magnetic gangue fraction. The detailed XRD analysis of the ore has indicated that the gangue fraction is composed predominantly of the iron-bearing silicates such as smectite and, to a lesser extent, illite. Magnetic susceptibility measurements of the colemanite and gangue samples have proved that colemanite is diamagnetic in character whereas gangue fraction is weakly paramagnetic to allow the removal of this fraction by magnetic separation. Magnetic separation of the crushed and sized ore samples (-5 mm +75 mu m) was performed using a high intensity permanent magnetic separator. Under the test conditions a colemanite concentrate (41.29 wt.% B2O3) was found to be produced from the crushed ore (30.76 wt.% B2O3) at a recovery of 96.76%. These findings suggest that magnetic separation has great potential as an alternative process for the production of a concentrate of commercially sufficient grade.