Feasibility of gravity and magnetic separation for Yxsjöberg historical tungsten ore tailings

Document identifier: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-76407
Keyword: Engineering and Technology, Materials Engineering, Metallurgy and Metallic Materials, Teknik och teknologier, Materialteknik, Metallurgi och metalliska material, Historical tailings, Tungsten, Scheelite, Geometallurgy, Reprocessing, Physical separation, Mineral Processing, Mineralteknik, Centrumbildning - Centrum för avancerad gruvteknik och metallurgi (CAMM), Centre - Centre for Advanced Mining & Metallurgy (CAMM)
Publication year: 2019
Relevant Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):
SDG 3 Good health and wellbeing
The SDG label(s) above have been assigned by OSDG.ai

Abstract:

Repositories of historical tailings (HT) pose environmental risks but could also become new resources for valuable metals. This is because relatively high minerals and metals content characterize them due to less efficient extraction methods and/or relatively low metal prices at the time. In this investigation, geometallurgical studies were conducted by collecting drill core samples (DCS) from the Smaltjärnen tailings repository in Yxsjöberg, Sweden. The collected DCS were from the main layers of the longest drill core, and were characterized physically (color, texture, moisture content and particle size distribution) and chemically (elemental composition and distribution, and mineralogical composition). The characterization of DCS indicated that the tailings mass distribution was high in the coarser particle size fraction of +149 μm. Tungsten (W) and Copper (Cu) were the metals of interest with highest concentrations being 0.22 %WO3 and 0.11 %Cu. Feasible physical separation methods selected were Knelson concentrator, LIMS and HIMS, based on the knowledge from literature, tailings characteristics, and assessment of processes from which the Yxsjöberg HT were produced. Using the Knelson concentrator, the recovery of scheelite, which is the main W mineral, was enhanced, with 75 wt.% tungsten recovered in the 34 wt.% of concentrate produced. In magnetic separation, sulphur (S) was mostly recovered in the ferromagnetic and paramagnetic fractions with only 1.0 wt.% in the non-magnetic fraction, meaning pyrrhotite, the main Fe-sulphide mineral in the HT responsible for AMD, was separated to the desired magnetic fractions of the LIMS and HIMS. These results are fundamental in the development of methods for separation of valuable minerals from these HT in order to produce an inert and environmentally safe residue.

Authors

Jane Mulenshi

Luleå tekniska universitet; Mineralteknik och metallurgi
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Pourya Khavari

Luleå tekniska universitet; Mineralteknik och metallurgi
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Saeed Chehreh Chelgani

Luleå tekniska universitet; Mineralteknik och metallurgi
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Jan Rosenkranz

Luleå tekniska universitet; Mineralteknik och metallurgi
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