Non-Metallic & Industrial

Tertiary Zeolite Ore Mineral Distribution in Size Fractions

Zeolite ores and protores occur in extensive deposits in the western United States. A recent paper describes the general geology and mineralogy of these deposits and their geographical distribution. The zeolites are alkali- and silica-rich varieties of mordenite, erionite, chabazite, phillipsite, ferrierite, and clinoptilolite.

The Tertiary zeolite ores consist of one or more zeolites (mordenite, erionite, chabazite, phillipsite, ferrierite, clinoptilolite) formed as alteration products of pyroclastics. In addition to unaltered volcanic glass the gangue minerals include quartz, cristobalite, tridymite, opal, feldspar, montmorillonite, hornblende, calcite, gypsum, thenardite, iron oxides, and in some cases one or two other zeolites. Removal of the silica minerals and glass is the main problem in ore beneficiation.

Mineralogical analysis of size fractions obtained on zeolite ore samples dispersed with minimal grinding provides a quantitative determination of the constituents, reveals the microtexture, and gives the size distribution of the single crystals and various types of aggregates and particles. These data are useful for beneficiation as they aid in the choice of the initial method of disaggregation and give the size ranges in which the zeolite and gangue minerals concentrate.

The bulk mineral compositions, as determined by analysis of the size fractions; abbreviations used are mordenite (MO), clinoptilolite (CL), erionite (ER),

Lignite Mining

According to the 1966 Bureau of Mines Mineral Year Book only three states reported production of lignite in that year. These states were North Dakota, Montana, and South Dakota; although it is known that there is production of lignite in Texas, California and, perhaps, Arkansas. In the year 1966 North Dakota produced 3,543,000 tons of lignite, Montana produced 328,000 tons of lignite, and South Dakota produced 10,000 tons of lignite. In view of the fact that North Dakota produces approximately 95 per cent of all the lignite reported in the United States, in discussing lignite mining, my remarks will be confined to lignite mining as conducted in North Dakota and will be confined to the production of lignite by stripping methods.

The lignite mined in the three state area of the Upper Midwest is in the Fort Union Formation of the Paleocene Age and in general is located west of the Missouri River. In this area the Fort Union Formation is divided into three members from the Sentinel Butte Formation, descending through the Tongue River and ending with the Ludlow Formation. The Tongue River member of the Fort Union Formation averages from 500 to 1,000 feet in thickness, and most of

Fly Ash as a Portland Cement Raw Material

In 1966, approximately 125 million tons of raw materials, exclusive of fuel, air, water, and power were consumed to produce almost 74 million tons of portland cement in the United States that is about 3,400 pounds of raw material per ton of finished cement produced. To present the figure in another way, a single plant producing 600,000 tons of cement a year would consume about 1,000,000 tons of raw materials.

At a portland cement manufacturing plant, fly ash may be used in the process, principally, at three points. It can be mixed with the finished cement, interground with the cement clinker, or serve as a component in the cement raw batch. In the first two instances it serves as a quick and inexpensive way to increase the capacity of the cement plant if kiln or grinding departments are limiting factors to production, or else to create products with special properties such as portland-pozzolan cement or certain oil-well cements. If it is interground with the cement clinker it also serves the purpose of a grinding aid. As a rule when fly ash is added in these instances, and let me stress that this presently is not a common American practice, it will

Design and Construction of a New Aggregate Plant Problems

This paper describes the original planning which actually restated in the opening of a new aggregate plant located in central New York State. This plant, which is now named the Skaneateles Plant of The General Crushed Stone Company is unique in that the plant itself is a departure not only in design but in concept of operation from the normal aggregate plant the company has operated in the past. Whether or not the concepts which resulted in the Skaneateles Plant are economically feasible remain to be proven by the next few years of operation.

Economic Requirements and Market Research

In this particular situation the basic economic need for a new quarry location was determined by the reserve situation at two of our permanent quarry sites located in central New York State. At the end of our 1961 operating season the Rock Cut quarry, located on the southeast side of the City of Syracuse, approximately 6 miles from the center of the city, had estimated stone reserves of approximately 4,500,000 million tons of state acceptable aggregate. With aggregate sales forecast at an annual rate of up to 650,000 tons, this gave us a projected remaining life at Rock Cut of about

Removal of SO2 and Production of Sulfur from Smelter Gases

The economic removal of SO2 and production of elemental sulfur from stack gases discharged by base-metal smelters is a challenging-goal. Annually, in the United States, about 3.5 million tons of SO2 are discharged to the atmosphere by smelters. The SO2 concentration of the gases ranges from about 0.5 to more than 3 percent. As the sulfur content of SO2 is 50 percent, a potential production of 1,750,000 tons of sulfur per year is indicated.

The base-metal smelting industry in the United States now recovers part of the SO2, converting it to H2SO4. An outstanding example is the Kennecott smelter near Salt Lake City, where up to 80 percent of the SO2 is recovered as H2SO4. At many smelters, however, no SO2 or only a minor amount is recovered and converted to acid, primarily because of a lack of markets or because the gases are too dilute to permit economic production of sulfuric acid.

The removal of SO2 from a stack gas is not difficult. Scrubbing the gases with alkaline solutions, such as sodium carbonate, ammonia, or a slurry of lime, converts the SO2 to a mixture of sulfites and sulfates; but these solutions cannot easily be regenerated to recover sulfur or sulfuric

Fluorspar Agglomeration

This report will be given in two sections. The first section outlines techniques and equipment to form almond shaped fluorspar briquettes by means of briquet presses, and the second section outlines techniques of the balling disc.

Briquet Presses

Fluorspar has been briquetted for a number of years and the so called “peach pit” briquet is known to many steelmen. Present production is estimated at over 100,000 tons annually. Slide 1 shows an assortment of various sizes and shapes of briquettes. It is possible to form fluorspar into almost any configuration of briquet. For safety on the melting floor, pillow type briquets are preferred. Ease of mechanical handling and durability of the product are facilitated by an almond shape. The dimensions of the almond can vary from 1-in. to 1-½-in. in length, from 13/16-in. to 1-in. in width and from ½-in. to 1-in. in thickness.

A wide variety of pillow shapes are available. Briquet presses can be supplied that permit changing from one size briquet to another. Since steelmen prefer different briquet shapes, the product can be changed simply by changing the briquet dies thus allowing one machine to supply several mills. Briquetting of fluorspar is accomplished at room temperature with the

Functional Mineral Pigments

Functional mineral pigments are used in large quantities in paint, paper, plastics, rubber, textiles, agriculture, and several other industries.

Originally extender pigments were employed only to lower cost. They were thought of merely as adulterants to replace more expensive prime pigments and binders. However, over the years their role has become better understood, and today their main functions are:

  • Increasing strength, stability, and service life.
  • Improving surface properties.
  • Enhancing application and processing properties.
  • Extending prime pigments.
  • Controlling viscosity and package stability
  • Lowering overall costs of the finished product.

The principal minerals used as functional pigments are kaolin, ground calcium carbonate, talc, and asbestos. Other minerals include barytes, attapulgite, diatomite, mica, ground silica, wollastonite, and nepheline syenite. Several synthetic products, including precipitated calcium carbonate; precipitated, gel, and fumed silica; alumina trihydrate; and barium sulfate, compete with mineral products.


Kaolin is the most widely consumed functional mineral pigment both in tonnage and dollar volume. Its major end uses are coating and filling paper and filling rubber. Other uses include paint, plastics, adhesives, textile coating, and caulks and sealants.

Kaolin, with the chemical composition Al2O3·2SiO2·2H2O, is frequently referred to as aluminum silicate pigment, China clay, or simply as clay. It is mined and processed in

Crushing & Grinding of Gypsum

In the crushing and grinding of metallics for beneficiation, the sizing is normally done to liberate the metals or sulphides for further processing to improve recoveries of the basic metals or minerals. The objective is to reduce the ore in size through various closely controlled stages to that degree of fineness which gives an economic liberation of valuable mineral, but which avoids as much as possible the production of sliming fractions. A different philosophy applies to the crushing and grinding of Gypsum.

Gypsum as a mineral (CaSO4·2H2O) is number 2 on the Mohs scale of hardness; only Talc is softer. This would lead one to believe that it should be easy, to crush, like coal for example, and our equipment was formerly designed on this basis. Within the past 20 years, however, equipment suppliers guaranteeing their equipment performance have had to “beef-up” the design. Gypsum just didn’t crush like a soft rock. Despite being soft, Gypsum is tough, a factor which is of critical importance when developing equipment specifications.

To prevent excessive delays at this point, proper crusher feed and feeder design is not enough. Close cooperation with the drilling and blasting must be maintained. One of the easiest places for cost

Beneficiation of Kaolinite Clay from Silica Sand Washings

Silica sand has been mined in Illinois from the St. Peter Sandstone since the turn of the century, especially in the area around Ottawa on the Illinois River in the north-central part of the state. Production of this sand, consumed mainly by the glass and foundry industries but also sought after for many other uses, has grown with the economy.

The St. Peter Sandstone is early Middle Ordovician in age (over 450 million years old) and crops out at four areas in Illinois. However, silica sand is currently being mined and’washed from the St. Peter only in LaSalle and Ogle Counties. In these areas, the formation varies from 140 to over 200 feet thick. It is mined only to a maximum depth of about 90 feet, due to water problems and increasing iron content at depth.

kaolin clay map showing location

All of the mining is done by open-pit methods. The overburden, which varies from 6 to 30 feet in thickness, is removed by bulldozer and scrapers. The sand body is then drilled from the top and the face blasted down with light charges of dynamite. The sand is mined in a single face in

Reinforced Plastic Equipment in Extraction Processes

Corrosion and product contamination have been difficult problems for extractive metallurgy industries in the U.S. because of the highly active chemicals used. During the past twelve years, other industries, particularly the chemical and paper segments, began to combat this problem with some degree of success using newer materials of construction, including reinforced plastics. These materials are made by combining a corrosion resistant thermosetting resin with a glass fiber reinforcing material and are used to construct hoods, stacks, blowers, tanks, towers, pipe, and equipment of the most complex configurations.

Applications of FRP Equipment

New applications of FRP (Fiberglass Reinforced Plastics) in extractive metallurgy have focused attention on the use of this type of equipment. Only a few years ago, the ore processing industry considered corrosion much like bad weather. Corrosion was costly, but there was little that could be done about it. Those materials of construction that would yield protection against a narrow range of corrosive compounds were alloys so expensive that in many cases they were economically unfeasible. As a result, conventional materials of construction such as carbon steel remained in use, despite high maintenance and repair costs and the frequent need for replacement.

The ability of various plastic resins to

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