Home Blogs Dressing How to Process Hard Rock Lithium Ore?

How to Process Hard Rock Lithium Ore?

ShirleyShirley Jun 20, 2023Jun 20, 2023 774774
Warm Tip:

If you want to know more details about equipment, solutions, etc, please click the button below for free consultation, or leave your requirements!

Zimbabwe 2 million tpa lithium processing plant0.jpg

Hard rock lithium ore is a kind of lithium ore with high hardness and density. Lithium ore exists in the state of spodumene, lithium feldspar, lepidolite and other ores. These minerals have experienced high temperature and high pressure during the geological formation process, so the physical properties of hard rock lithium ore are relatively stable and are not easily eroded by chemical substances. Due to the complex mineral composition of hard rock lithium ore, it is more difficult to beneficiate. For this type of lithium ore beneficiation, the beneficiation methods include dense medium separation, flotation and so on.

01 Dense medium separation of hard rock lithium ore


Dense media beneficiation is a mineral processing method that uses the density difference between dense medium (a high-density liquid or suspension) and minerals to separate. Suitable for minerals with large particle size and small density difference. Dense media beneficiation can be used to separate tourmaline, mica and other gangue minerals from spodumene. The factors affecting the separation of dense media include the difference in specific gravity of minerals, the dissociation degree of lithium minerals, the particle size of feed material, the type and specific gravity of dense media, etc.

Generally, the heavy medium separation of lithium ore is to mix the lithium ore after ore washing and desliming with heavy medium for separation, and heavy products and light products can be separated. The heavy product is spodumene concentrate, and the light product is gangue tailings.

02 Flotation of hard rock lithium ore


Hard rock lithium ore flotation is a physical and chemical process that utilizes the hydrophilic and hydrophobic properties of the mineral surface to separate useful minerals from gangue minerals through bubble attachment. Its purpose is to enrich minerals with high lithium content such as spodumene, lepidolite, lithium permeal feldspar, etc. from low-grade or complex hard rock lithium ores, so as to improve the recovery rate and grade of lithium.

The effect of flotation is affected by many factors, mainly including mineralogical characteristics, particle size distribution, reagent system, operating parameters, etc. Different lithium minerals have different flotation characteristics, and it is necessary to select suitable collectors, regulators, frothers, etc. according to their chemical composition, crystal structure, and surface properties. The particle size distribution will also affect the flotation efficiency. Generally speaking, too fine or too coarse particle size is not conducive to flotation. Operating parameters include flotation time, concentration, pH value, stirring speed, air velocity, etc., which need to be optimized according to the actual situation.

lithium processing plant personnel training.jpg

In order to obtain better beneficiation effect of hard rock lithium ore flotation, it is often pretreated before flotation. Pretreatment refers to cleaning or modifying the surface of spodumene before flotation to improve its flotation selectivity. Commonly used pretreatment methods mainly include chemical pretreatment, desliming, magnetic separation, etc.

  • Chemical pretreatment is usually carried out during the grinding process, which can improve the flotation recovery rate of spodumene, but it is necessary to select appropriate chemical reagents and control the pH value.

  • Desliming uses hydrocyclones or other equipment to reduce the interference of ore sludge on the flotation process. It is usually carried out before flotation, which can improve the separation selectivity.

  • Magnetic separation is usually used to remove a large number of iron-containing gangue minerals, such as tourmaline, hornblende, etc. For lepidolite with high iron content, magnetic separation can also be used for enrichment.

  • In addition, by using the differences in color, shape, density or electromagnetic properties between spodumene, lithium petalite, lepidolite, etc. and gangue, automated or manual sorting techniques are used to identify and separate them from other materials.

lithium flotation-magnetic separation process.jpg

03To Wrap Up


The beneficiation method of hard rock lithium ore is introduced above, including dense medium separation and flotation. These methods all need to select appropriate parameters and reagents according to the characteristics and conditions of the minerals to achieve the ideal beneficiation effect. Since the mineral composition of hard rock lithium ore is relatively complex, it is difficult to beneficiate. Therefore, it is very necessary to conduct beneficiation tests, which can provide technical basis and optimization schemes for industrial production.

You can also click to know the 6 methods for lithium extraction




Submit Your Message

Please leave your message here! We will send detailed technical information and quotation to you!


Please leave your message here! We will send detail technical info and quotation to you!



facebook twitter linkedin