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The Ultimate Guide to 4 Ilmenite Processing Methods

ShirleyShirley Mar 09, 2023Mar 09, 2023 598598
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Titanium is an important metal with good plasticity and high strength, which is of great significance in many fields. The main source of titanium resources is ilmenite. Therefore, the development and utilization of ilmenite is very important. The beneficiation methods of ilmenite mainly include gravity separation, magnetic separation, flotation, combined beneficiation and so on. Before we have introduce how to extract iron from limonite. In this article, we will introduce the beneficiation method of ilmenite and help you solve the problem of beneficiation of ilmenite.

01Ilmenite Gravity Separation

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The gravity separation method is to remove the gangue minerals in the ore through jigging, spiral chute, shaking table and other equipment after the ilmenite is crushed. It is mainly suitable for coarse-grained embedded ilmenite.

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02Ilmenite Magnetic Separation

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Because ilmenite has weak magnetism, ilmenite can be separated from non-magnetic minerals by magnetic separation. If the magnetic field strength is not enough during magnetic separation, some ilmenite minerals will be discarded, resulting in a decrease in resource utilization efficiency. Therefore, in the magnetic separation process of ilmenite, the magnetic field strength is a very critical factor.

Ilmenite mostly exists in ore deposits in the form of complex solid solutions. It is easy to produce ilmenite lamellae with a higher magnetic susceptibility coefficient, and the magnetization difference with gangue increases, and it is easy to separate by magnetic separation. Some ilmenite placers contain large amounts of impurities and sludge. This kind of ore can be separated by weak magnetic separation to separate iron ore after primary grinding, and then use strong magnetic separation to separate titanium ore, so as to improve the recycling rate of ore.

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03Ilmenite Flotation

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Flotation is a commonly used separation method for ilmenite, which can be divided into conventional flotation, flocculation flotation, agglomeration flotation and carrier flotation.

1. Conventional flotation method

Conventional ilmenite beneficiation methods generally use oleic acid, oxidized paraffin soap, tall oil, etc. as ilmenite collectors. The combination and ratio of collectors can be carried out according to the different mineral composition. For example, some ores contain ilmenite and titanopyroxene at the same time. These two minerals have similar buoyancy, and new collectors can be used to separate them to improve the ore grade.

2. Flocculation flotation

Ilmenite flocculation flotation can also be divided into selective flocculation flotation and hydrophobic flocculation flotation, mainly for ilmenite with finer particle size. The selective flocculation flotation method is to first condense one mineral in the slurry containing two or more minerals and then gradually separate it. Hydrophobic flocculation flotation method is to use the mutual hydrophobic effect of hydrophobic ore particles to make them agglomerate and then separate.

3. Reunion flotation method

The ilmenite agglomeration flotation method uses the collector adsorbed on the surface of the ilmenite, the ilmenite particles are hydrophobic, and the ore particles are agglomerated with the help of the capillary gravity of the bridge fluid to achieve ilmenite flotation. It is suitable for ilmenite with finer particle size. When using this flotation method, it is necessary to pay attention to the use of the collector and the stirring intensity. These two factors have a direct impact on the recovery of ilmenite.

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04Ilmenite Combined Beneficiation Method 

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Ilmenite often contains a variety of minerals and impurities, such as rutile, zirconite and so on. In order to improve the grade and recovery rate of minerals and realize the comprehensive utilization of minerals, the combined mineral processing method has a better effect than the single mineral processing method. Currently commonly used ilmenite combined beneficiation methods include magnetic separation + flotation, gravity separation + flotation, magnetic separation + gravity separation, gravity separation - magnetic separation - flotation - electric separation. 

1. Magnetic separation + flotation method

This beneficiation method is to conduct magnetic separation on ilmenite first, and throw away some useless gangue minerals. Flotation is then carried out on the magnetic separation concentrate to improve the ore grade and recovery rate of the ilmenite concentrate.

2. Gravity separation + flotation

Gravity separation + flotation method has a better beneficiation effect for ilmenite whose raw ore grade is below 6%. At the same time, the sulfur in the ilmenite ore can be separated to improve the utilization rate of the ilmenite ore resource.

3. Magnetic separation + gravity separation method

The combination of magnetic separation and gravity separation can reduce the production cost of ilmenite beneficiation, improve the concentrate grade and recovery rate of ilmenite, and effectively increase production efficiency.

4. Gravity separation - magnetic separation - flotation - electric separation

If the ilmenite gangue minerals contain titanopyroxene, plagioclase, sulfide minerals, etc., the plagioclase can be removed by gravity separation first, and then the flotation method can be used for desulfurization. It is a better solution for low-grade ilmenite to remove titanopyroxene by electroseparation to improve the grade and utilization rate of ilmenite.

05To Wrap Up

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The above is the beneficiation method of ilmenite. In actual production, due to the complex composition of ilmenite, it is not possible to simply rely on experience to determine the process flow. It is recommended to analyze the mineral composition and properties of the ore through the mineral processing test, and formulate a scientific and reasonable mineral processing plan based on the test results.

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