In places where water is plentiful an area above an alluvial deposit is flooded often by diverting a river and a mining dredge floated on it Dredges have endless bucket chains at one end that dig and lift the tin bearing ore to the primary processing plant which is usually located on board Ores are concentrated by gravity separation methods including jigs and shaking tables The concentrate is then collected for further treatment onshore while the barren material is discharged over the stern of the dredge.
Tin concentrates from the alluvial mining areas of Southeast Asia are relatively free of impurities although there may be small quantities of related minerals such as wolframite scheelite and columbite Concentrates shipped to the smelter usually contain 70 to 75 percent tin metal On the other hand the complex sulfide ores found in underground deposits such as those of Bolivia require more complicated mineral processing often involving froth flotation in order to produce a clean tin concentrate Even then Bolivian concentrates may average only 50 to 60 percent tin.
Before being smelted low grade concentrates from complex ores are first roasted in a reverberatory or multiple hearth furnace at temperatures between 550 and 650 C 1 025 and 1 200 F to drive off the sulfur Depending on the type and quantity of impurities oxidizing reducing or chlorinating reactions take place Roasting is frequently followed by leaching with water or acid solutions to remove impurities made soluble by roasting.
After appropriate preparation the furnace feed for smelting comprises tin oxide and some impurities including iron oxides that were not removed in mineral processing or roasting.
Manganese mining equipment includes manganese ore crusher washing machines vibrating screen etc The ore wash makes the ore and argillaceous separation using the water power flushing or additional machinery scouring The commonly used quarry mining equipment has to wash the jig and drum washer and trough ore washer.
The principle of tin smelting is the chemical reduction of tin oxide by heating with carbon to produce tin metal and carbon dioxide gas In practice the furnace feed contains the tin oxide concentrate carbon in the form of anthracite coal or coke and limestone to act as a flux and a slag producing agent.
In a typical reverberatory process the most commonly used the furnace is heated to 1 3001 400 C 2 3752 550 F for a period of some 15 hours during which it is stirred frequently especially during the later stages This process produces a pool of molten tin on top of which floats a slag containing most of the unwanted impurities.
At the completion of smelting the impure tin is tapped off and cast into large slabs while the slag is solidified into granules by being poured into water tanks The impure tin slabs go for further refining and the granulated slag which may still contain some tin is retreated.
There are two methods of refining impure tin Fire refining is most commonly used and produces tin up to 99 85 percent suitable for general commercial use Electrolytic refining is used on the products of complex ores and to produce a very high grade of tin up to 99 999 percent.
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