Process of Iron Ore Beneficiation for Fines

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. This process is known as beneficiation. Depending on the type of processing equipment, the iron ore beneficiation process can take many steps, or it can take just two. With the ST Equipment & Technology (STET) triboelectric separator, you can get a higher quality product in less time, at a lower cost. 

The Standard Iron Ore Beneficiation Process

There are a few different types of separation technology equipment that can be used to produce high-quality iron ore. With each type of equipment, the process begins with crushing and grinding. Then it can be followed up with separation and finally with dewatering. Each of these steps is necessary for these processes and can cause the process to take longer and cost more. 

Step 1: Crushing and Grinding

In order to properly separate the different materials found in the iron ore deposit, it must first be ground into a coarse or fine powder. This allows the different elements to be liberated from each other and thus easier to separate. The crushing and grinding process can occur multiple times and is performed in a number of ways. The final objective is to create a fine powder that can be separated in the next steps. 

Step 2: Separation

Separation is when the iron particles are separated from the other particles that can be found in the powder. These other particles/minerals are removed to ensure that the iron ore fines deposits reach a certain iron content. There are many different types of separation—gravity separation, magnetic separation, flotation separation, and size separators. These separation techniques can be used in combination with each other to create a higher quality product.

  • Gravity Separation: Uses the different pulls of gravity on the iron and gangue materials to separate out the iron. This is done in a cyclone, a jig, a table, a spiral, and many other separation technology equipment. Gravity separation is also used to separate the coarser materials from finer materials, so it can double as a size separator. It can also be used as a pre-treatment before magnetic or flotation separation.
  • Magnetic Separation: Uses the different magnetic properties of the iron and gangue materials to separate out the iron. This can include separation technology equipment such as low-intensity magnetic separation (LIMS), high gradient magnetic separation (HGMS), wet high-intensity magnetic separation (WHIMS), or an induction roll magnetic separation (IRMS).
  • Flotation Separation: Uses the iron’s chemical makeup to cause it to adhere to an air bubble. A reagent is chosen that will react with the iron. When this reagent is introduced to water, the iron adheres to air bubbles. Flotation is usually used in conjunction with other separation processes and is the last step before dewatering. 

Step 3: Dewatering

Many of the standard separation techniques require the use of water to work properly. Once all of the steps are completed, the resulting output is a slushy, slurry consistency. In order to turn it into pellets, the output has to be de-watered. The dewatering process can be done through vacuum filters or pressure filters. 

The Triboelectric Separation Process of Iron Ore Fines

In contrast to the standard fine iron ore separation process, the triboelectric separation process is much quicker and easier. The iron ore goes through two steps, the grinding process, and the separation process. Because this iron ore beneficiation is water-free there is no dewatering needed. 

Step 1: Grinding and Crushing

The iron ore deposits go through the same grinding/crushing process as the standard process. The objective is to create a fine output that can be separated in the next stage. 

Step 2: Triboelectric Belt Separator

In this step, the resulting fine particles are fed into a triboelectric belt separator. The iron deposit then proceeds through the key features of the electrostatic separation process. The charging of the particles, the separation of the particles, and the gravity separation of the particles. All of this is performed with one machine. The result is a completely dry product that is ready for pelletization.

STET Separation Technology Equipment

As you can see, the STET process requires very little pre-treatment, the separation process is a breeze, and there is no need for dewatering. The STET separator is an innovative alternative to standard separation technology equipment. Not only is it effective, but it reduces pollution, saves money, and makes it easy to get permits. 

We provide state-of-the-art mineral processing equipment and electrostatic separation equipment to our customers all over the world. We are dedicated to helping our customers and the world we live in. Want to learn more? Contact us today!