Laboratory Testing & General Mineral Processing Engineering

Laboratory Testing & General Mineral Processing Engineering 2017-04-04T06:57:51+00:00
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Processing Hematite Ore for Titanium Extraction (7 replies)

Bill Fraser
2 years ago
Bill Fraser 2 years ago

Please suggest the best route for processing and extracting iron content Fe 54% TiO2 12%, V 0.7%.

Can iron be separated before feeding to the electric arc furnace (EAF)? Can anybody tell if the base is Hematite, then can we go for reduction in Kiln for sponge iron. Morocco is rich in high titanium hematite deposits.

Can we reduce the ore and after separate the sponge by lims ,the rest of the slag will be treated for costly extraction of Titanium/Ti & Vanadium/V

Bob Mathias
2 years ago
Bob Mathias 2 years ago

Acid treatment to convert total Fe into iron chloride (soluble) followed by pyro-hydrolysis is one of the solutions. Becher process ( reduction and re-oxidation) is another process route.

You do however need to understand something about mineralogy, liberation, etc. to identify potential routes for testwork.

Understand mineral types, associations, typical grain sizes, etc.

The TiO2 and V content suggest a titanomagnetite ore. If so, it is likely that some of the Ti and all of the V are in solid solution in the titanomagnetite, and without intensive and expensive downstream treatment, will remain in the concentrate.

However that its a high value for Ti in this ore type and clearly some of the Ti is present as rutile or ilmenite.

Just in passing, is any iron present as silicate and in what proportions?

Depending upon the mineralogy, a number of options may be available allowing a marketable product of some kind.

Unfortunately, iron concentrates with high Ti contents is not attracting a premium - indeed now a penalty under most Chinese terms, and V is not valued anyway (the business for railway lines, where V rich steels are used - however did an attract premium a few years ago when Chinese railways were expanding).

John Koenig
2 years ago
John Koenig 2 years ago

This is purely a case of chemical beneficiation. By knowing mineralogy, liberation size etc. physical beneficiation will be possible to produce titanium hematite concentrate but without liberation of pure Fe just like chromite concentrate which contains both chromium and iron. 

I know of two companies that pre-reduce the ore before smelting in an electric arc furnace. I have also worked on a project that tested a similar ore by the same method and the iron metal produced was acceptable. It requires a vanadium precipitation between the iron and steel plants.

Helena Russell
2 years ago
Helena Russell 2 years ago

Agree with that it seems a titano-magnetite ore. FeT seems a little bit low though. Best chance is to smelt it with or w/o pre-reduction.  Can you elaborate about the companies that pre-reduces the ore?. Vanadium can be separated from the melt by converting process.

John Koenig
2 years ago
John Koenig 2 years ago

Highveld Steel and Vanadium in South Africa and New Zealand Steel. South Africa has huge deposits of titanomagnetite mostly with some level of vanadium. The vanadium recovery keeps the business afloat as the cost of power vs say coal/coke is high. Pre-reduction is a must if you want to keep the power consumption down.

The slag is discarded. They developed a process to recover paint grade titanium but, the project was shelved. I am not sure if it was due to economics though, with the increase in TiO2 prices since that time, it may have become economic.

The titanium is in the metal and is only separated as a slag. Pre-reduction simply reduces the amount of oxygen in the feed to the EAF's.

Bill Fraser
2 years ago
Bill Fraser 2 years ago

Can iron be separated before feeding to the EAF. This may reduce the cost of smelting by early removal of iron.

John Koenig
2 years ago
John Koenig 2 years ago

I am afraid not. The titanomagnetites we have in South Africa have a Ti atom substituted into the magnetite crystal structure with a modified structure to accommodate the different valencies. So the only time you can separate is after smelting when all the ion are in liquid form. There is research on the actual mineralogy that shows this. Mintek in South Africa have a lot of experience in dealing with this type of ore.

Tony Verdeschi
2 years ago
Tony Verdeschi 2 years ago

VTM is, generally speaking, composed of hematite, magnetite, ilmenite, and ulvospinel. Depending on the source, the proportion can be significantly different. XRD can identify the mineralogy. XRF analysis, however, can be used to do that. For XRF, wet analysis for "FeO" is a must. If XRF is available, please post it.

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