The iron ore beneficiation flowsheet presented is typical of the large tonnage magnetic taconite operations Multi parallel circuits are necessary but for purposes of illustration and description a single circuit is shown and described.
Crushing is done in the conventional manner in 2 or 3 stage systems to approximately all minus inch which is considered good feed for subsequent wet rod and ball mill grinding.
Magnetic separation on average ores with 25 to 30 iron results in about 13 of the total tonnage ending up in final concentrate.
The iron concentrate as it comes off the magnetic finishers is well flocculated due to magnetic action and usually contains 50 55 solids This is ideal dilution for conditioning ahead of flotation For best results it is necessary to pass the pulp through a demagnetizing coil to disperse the magnetic floes and thus render the pulp more amenable to flotation.
Feed to flotation for silica removal is diluted with fresh clean water to 35 to 40 solids Being able to effectively float the silica and iron silicates at this relatively high solid content makes flotation particularly attractive.
For this separation Sub A Flotation Machines of the open or free flow type for rougher flotation are particularly desirable Intense aeration of the deflocculated and dispersed pulp is necessary for removal of the finely divided silica and iron silicates in the froth product A 6 cell No 24 Free FlowFlotation Machine will effectively treat 35 to 40 LTPH of iron concentrates down to the desired limit usually 4 to 6 SiO2 Loss of iron in the froth is low The rough froth may be cleaned and reflotated or reground and reprocessed if necessary.
A cationic reagent is usually all that is necessary to effectively activate and float the silica from the iron Since no prior reagents have come in contact with thethoroughly washed and relatively slime free magnetic iron concentrates the cationic reagent is fast acting and in somecases no prior conditioning ahead of the flotation cells is necessary.
A frother such as Methyl Isobutyl Carbinol or Heptinol is usually necessary to give a good froth condition in the flotation circuit In some cases a dispersant such as Corn Products gum sometimes causticized is also helpful in depressing the iron Typical requirements may be as follows.
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