Mining of Mineral Deposits

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ISSN 2415-3435 (Print)

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Beneficiation of phosphate sludge rejected from Djebel Onk plant (Algeria)

D. Nettour1, M. Chettibi2, G. Bulut3, A. Benselhoub2

1National School of Mines and Metallurgy (ENSMM), Annaba, Algeria

2Badji Mokhtar University, Annaba, Algeria

3Istanbul Technical University, Istanbul, Turkey

Min. miner. depos. 2019, 13(4):84-90

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      Purpose. Flotation tests have been used in order to achieve the purposes of this study which are: To obtain the highest recovery with a maximum grade of P2O5 from the tailing generated by the phosphate plant of Djebel Onk in the East of Algeria. To get a good concentrate from the rejections, which gives an added value to the national economy. To preserve the human life and finally to protect the environment from the heavy metals contained in the tailings.

      Methods. To reach our goals we have used: the granular and XRD analysis to characterize the tailing composition so as to choose the right reagents and conduct a good flotation. Flotation tests were carried out using Sodium Oleate as a collector and alkyl hydroxamic acid (AERO 6493) as collector and frother, zeta-meter system to measure the Zeta potential of the phosphate tailing and define the convenient values insuring the particles surfaces’ best adsorption.

      Findings. The granular analysis has allowed us to observe a main mode represented by the fraction less than 125 μm equal to 76.77%; the weight yield of the second mode of fraction (–200 + 125) μm is about 18%; the third mode represents the coarse particle size range of a mesh of greater than 200 μm represents only 4.94% in yield. However, in the case of AERO 6493, the recovery reaches 97% in condition 150 mg/l of concentrate and 26.51% grade of P2O5. On the other hand, the flotation test with the sodium oleate shows a low recovery with good content on P2O5 which reaches 30%.

      Originality.Since the beginning of phosphate production in Djebel Onk phosphate complex in 1965, tailings have been evacuated into the nature without any further treatment. The originality of this work lays in the recovery of phosphate in the fine slice on the one hand and the elimination of heavy metals drained in the tailing on the other hand.

      Practical implications. Using the alkyl hydroxamic acid with different concentrations determined in the flotation tests leads to a greatest recovery of phosphate with minimum financial charges of exploitation, transport, crushing and grinding. In result, the productivity of the Djebel Onk complex can be increased and the environment can be preserved too.

      Keywords: Djebel Onk phosphate complex, tailings, beneficiation, flotation, reagents, alkyl hydroxamic acid


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