Fully Autogenous Grinding from Primary Crushing to 20 Microns

McIvor, R. E. ; Weldum, T. P.
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 5
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2004
INTRODUCTION Cleveland-Cliffs' operations in Michigan have been utilizing fully autogenous grinding for over four decades. This is but one of the key characteristics of the iron ore processing method that was developed for the extremely fine grained, low grade deposits of the region. Liberation size of the hematite and magnetite ranges from about 30 to less than 1 micron. Typical grinding fineness target to achieve silica grade in the concentrate is 80 to 90% passing 25 microns, or a P80 of approximately 20 microns. After primary grinding, the magnetite ore is first upgraded by rougher magnetic separation. It is then ground to final product size, sent through thickener-sizers utilizing selective flocculation, upgraded again by finisher magnetic separation, and then brought to final silica grade by reverse amine flotation. Hematite ore follows essentially the same route, less the magnetic separation stages. Concentrate is filtered and pelletized, along with con- trolled additions of fluxstone, to ready it for shipping. Iron ore pellets on the water of the Great Lakes have a value of approximately 1.5 cents per pound. GRINDING PROCESS DESCRIPTION Details of the Empire magnetite grinding process flowsheet have been presented by Greenwood and Rajala (1992), and more recently by Rose et al. (2002). The Tilden comminution process for either magnetite or hematite is essentially identical, with the exception of some variations in the excess pebble treatment methods (McIvor and
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