Home Blogs Dressing 6 Lithium Ore Beneficiation Methods You Need to Know

6 Lithium Ore Beneficiation Methods You Need to Know

LauraLaura Jan 30, 2023Jan 30, 2023 841841
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01Introduction to the Lithium Ore Beneficiation

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Lithium ore beneficiation process is to use different methods according to the mineral properties of lithium ore (mainly the physical, chemical or physicochemical properties of different minerals) to separate the lithium ore from the vein minerals. And make the coeval useful minerals separate from each other as much as possible to remove or reduce the harmful impurities in order to obtain the raw materials required for smelting lithium ore sorting process. Lithium ore through beneficiation, you can get a higher grade of lithium ore concentrate, so that the mineral resources are fully utilized.

02Steps to the Lithium Ore Beneficiation

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The process of lithium ore beneficiation method includes crushing, grinding, sorting, etc.

1. Crushing Process

Crushing is to turn large pieces of lithium ore or materials into small pieces to meet the requirements of the use department or the next process for the size of lithium ore products. According to the size of crushing can be divided into coarse crushing, medium crushing and fine crushing.

2. Grinding Process

Grinding is in the mechanical equipment, with the medium (steel ball, steel bar, gravel) and the impact of the minerals themselves and grinding and stripping effect, so that the lithium ore and vein minerals to achieve maximum dissociation, in order to provide the size of the next beneficiation process requirements of the material.

3. Sorting Process

Sorting process, using certain beneficiation methods, so that the useful minerals in lithium ore, vein minerals and different useful minerals are separated from each other, and enrich the operation respectively. The products after sorting are lithium ore concentrate and lithium ore tailings.

03Methods to the Lithium Ore Beneficiation

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Methods to lithium ore beneficiation are mainly hand sorting, flotation, chemical or chemical-flotation combined method, thermal cracking, magnetic separation, heavy suspension liquid beneficiation and heavy liquid beneficiation method. Among them, the hand selection method, flotation method, chemical treatment method of these three mineral processing methods are more commonly used.

1. Hand Sorting Method

Hand sorting method is mainly used for sorting coarse-grained crystalline lithium pyroxene and lithium mica combination, is based on the difference between the color or shape of the mineral itself and the vein minerals. The lithium minerals are selected from the minerals by manual hand sorting method.

2. Flotation Method

The main minerals containing lithium can be selected by flotation, so flotation is an important beneficiation method for lithium ores, especially for the beneficiation of fine-grained leached lithium pyroxene. Lithium ore beneficiation methods are often used in positive flotation, the essence of the ore will be finely ground, priority flotation of lithium pyroxene, in the alkaline pulp of sodium hydroxide or sodium carbonate. After high concentration, strong agitation, multiple washing and desliming, the addition of fatty acids (such as oleic acid) or its soaps as a trapping agent for direct flotation of lithium pyroxene. After three selective selection, you can get grade greater than 5% Li2O, recovery After three selections, we can obtain a lithium pyroxene concentrate with a grade of more than 5% Li2O and a recovery rate of 70%-75%.

3. Chemical Treatment Method

Lithium pyroxene chemical beneficiation method is mainly through the chemical action, the useful components of the ore into substances that are easily soluble in water or other solvents, so as to be separated and extracted. Chemical beneficiation generally only obtains semi-finished products, i.e. chemical concentrates, and chemical treatment methods are mainly used to extract lithium from salt lake water.

4. Thermal Cracking Method

Thermal cracking method is to heat lithium pyroxene ore to 1000-1200 ℃. After heating lithium pyroxene crystalline transformation, relative density from * to 2.40, and become brittle and fragile ore. But at this time, quartz and other veins are not much change, and then selective grinding method, so that lithium pyroxene into powder, and not easy to grind the quartz and other veins are still relatively coarse, and later use screening or wind beneficiation method to separate them. This method can enrich the lithium pyroxene containing 0.8%-2.0% lithium dioxide to lithium concentrate containing 4%-6% lithium dioxide, and its recovery rate is 70%-80%. However, this method has some limitations in practical application because roasting requires high temperature and the recovery of other useful metal components cannot be integrated.

5. Magnetic Separation Method

Magnetic separation method is an accessory measure to improve the quality of lithium concentrate, often used to remove iron impurities in lithium concentrate or sorting weak magnetic iron lithium mica. Using flotation method of lithium pyroxene concentrate, sometimes containing more iron, not in line with the requirements of certain industrial sectors, in order to reduce the iron content of the available magnetic separation method for processing.

6. Heavy Suspension and Heavy Liquid Beneficiation Method

The relative density of lithium pyroxene is about 3.2, than often with lithium pyroxene together with quartz, feldspar and other major vein minerals density, so you can use the heavy suspension beneficiation method, so that lithium pyroxene becomes heavy mineral products, and vein minerals are light products.

04Enrichment of Beryl and Lithium Pyroxene Beneficiation

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Lithium pyroxene and beryl are both aluminosilicate minerals, often coeval in the same pegmatite deposit; as their minerals are non-magnetic, and the relative density is close, and similar to the relative density of vein minerals. Therefore, it is difficult to separate beryl and lithium pyroxene by magnetic separation and re-election methods, and only flotation separation methods can be used. On the other hand, as garnet, hornblende, tourmaline, black mica and white mica are similar to the floatability of beryl and lithium pyroxene, resulting in the enrichment and separation of beryl and lithium pyroxene is more difficult. The flotation separation of beryl and lithium pyroxene generally has mixed flotation and priority flotation (priority flotation of beryl, then lithium pyroxene, priority flotation of lithium pyroxene, then beryl, or priority flotation of part of the lithium pyroxene, and then lithium beryllium mixed and then separated) two principle processes, can use cationic trapping agent and anionic trapping agent for flotation.

05Summary

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Lithium ore beneficiation is an important part of the comprehensive utilization of mineral resources, and is an important way for mines to increase production, reduce costs and improve product quality. In the actual beneficiation production, we need to adopt the suitable lithium ore beneficiation methods for the specific properties of different minerals, in order to make full use of the ore.

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