Mining of Mineral Deposits

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Study on low-grade galena-barite ore beneficiation in Khuzdar, Balochistan, Pakistan

M.A. Raza1, M.A. Bhatti1, S. Nasir2, F. Bashir3, Z. Mahmood1, K.R. Kazmi1, I. Hafeez1

1PCSIR Laboratories Complex, Lahore, Pakistan

2Pakistan Science Foundation, Islamabad, Pakistan

3University of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan

Min. miner. depos. 2019, 13(1):1-8

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      Purpose. Galena and barite are the principal minerals of lead and barium respectively. Both minerals are used extensively in industries because of their distinct properties. In complex poly metallic ores, it is always desirable to produce separate mineral concentrates for subsequent metal extraction. Separation of two or more minerals from complex low-grade multi-metallic ore into commercial grade concentrates requires suitable process.

      Methods. This research work is centered on development a suitable process for the beneficiation of a low-grade galena-barite ore originating from Khuzdar region (Balochistan Province, Pakistan).

      Findings. The low-grade ore assaying 39.90% Pb and 24.64% BaSO4 was beneficiated on bench-scale by sequential froth flotation process to recover valuable galena and barite concentrates. The important variables of froth flotation process such as feed size, pulp pH, pulp density, impeller speed, type and quantities of flotation reagents, pulp conditioning time and froth collecting time were optimized to achieve maximum recovery and grade of both concentrates. The rougher galena and barite concentrates were re-ground separately and subjected to one cleaning flotation to obtain better grade final concentrates of respective minerals.

      Originality.A process flow-sheet was designed in the light of this study.

      Practical implications. Froth flotation experiments showed that a galena concentrate containing 77.38% Pb with recovery of 90.64% and a barite concentrate assaying 90.23% BaSO4 with recovery of 80.16% could be recovered from this ore. Both the concentrates fall in the category of metallurgical and chemical grades and are suitable for industrial applications.

      Keywords: galena, barite, beneficiation, froth flotation, grade, recovery


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