There are many different types of iron ore beneficiation technology available. Each has its pros and cons and each uses a different technique to achieve the same result. This article, ST Equipment & Technology (STET), will walk you through the characteristics of different iron ore beneficiation technology.
There are three main steps to the production of iron ore—mining, processing, and pelletizing. Mining is the process of taking the iron ore from the earth; the processing is removing all the useless materials (gangue). Achieving a specific grade of chemical composition and pelletizing is turning the processed materials into a small, usable unit. Processing iron ore is the most important step in the production of pellets and many different techniques have been used and developed.
Once deposits of iron ore are extracted from the ground, they must be processed in order to increase the iron content and decrease the concentration of gangue minerals. Each deposit has its own unique chemical properties. In order to create a usable amount of iron (Fe), other minerals must be removed from the ore. Other minerals that can taint the iron ore are silica- and alumina-bearing minerals such as quartz, kaolinite, gibbsite, diaspore, and corundum.
Separation technology equipment allows fine low-grade iron ore to be processed into much higher-grade iron ore. The different types of separation technology equipment fall into two main categories—wet and dry iron ore separation.
Within wet iron ore beneficiation technology, there are a few different techniques. This includes flotation and different intensities of wet magnetic separation.
Flotation is often used in conjunction with magnetic separation. This process uses a chemical reagent that causes the iron to adhere to the reaction and separates it from the other materials. In addition to the use of chemicals, water is needed to ensure the reaction works properly. As a result, a lot of wastewater is created and water treatment is needed. Similarly, in order to ensure some of the finer particles separate from the iron, desliming is needed. However, desliming can result in the loss of the iron particles as well.
Wet Magnetic Separation (Low Intensity and High Intensity) With a wet magnetic separation technique the iron ore deposits are placed into a magnetically charged drum and water is pumped into it to help separate the materials. Depending on the composition of materials in the drum a low or high-intensity magnetic force can be used to separate the particles. Again, wastewater is created and water treatment becomes necessary.
Within dry iron ore separation, there are a few techniques that can be used. They include gravity separation, dry magnetic separation, and STET dry electrostatic separation.
Gravity Separation is largely dependent on how well the crushing and sizing portion of the process went. With this technique, gravity is used as the main force to separate the iron from the gangue minerals. Iron has a higher gravitational pull than the other minerals it is found with, so with gravity, it will be pulled down faster than the other minerals. There are many different machines that use gravity as the main separation method.
Dry Magnetic Separation is essentially the same as wet magnetic separation except it does not use water to help facilitate the separation process. Instead, it relies solely on the magnetic properties of the minerals to separate them from each other. Dry magnetic separation is not very effective on fine particles.
STET Dry Electrostatic Separation is the best dry iron ore separation technology equipment available for fine, otherwise unrecoverable iron ores. This process uses the negative and positive charges of iron to separate it from other minerals.
There are many benefits to using STET dry electrostatic separation. Unlike other dry iron ore separation methods, electrostatic separation allows for the recovery of iron ore fines that would otherwise be lost in conventional processing circuits. In addition, it allows for lower investment/operating costs and causes minimal impact on the environment (allowing for easy permitting). Similarly, electrostatic separation prevents the need for water consumption, use of chemicals, and eliminates the storage/disposal of wet tailings.
Are you looking for an alternative to iron ore beneficiation that is water-free? STET dry electrostatic separation is your solution. ST Equipment & Technology (STET) provides fine iron ore separation for customers all over the globe. Our team of experts is dedicated to helping you. Contact us today to see how your business can benefit from our experience and expertise.