Accelerated Kimberlite Weathering - The Role Of Cation Type On The Settling Behaviour Of Fines

Boshoff, E. T.
Organization: The Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 4
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2005
Paper written on project work carried out in partial fulfilment of B. Eng. (Metallurgical Engineering) The weathering of kimberlite can be accelerated with cations in solution if swelling of the kimberlite occurs in contact with the weathering medium. The type and amount of swelling clays present, along with the surface charge and cation valence, determine the degree of swelling that can occur. Crystalline swelling occurs by the incorporation of cations in the interlayer spacing of the silica sheets. Kimberlite exposed to cupric cations showed very strong weathering, indicating that this type of weathering may be considered a viable process option. Kimberlite fines generated after weathering with monovalent cations showed poor settling behaviour compared to kimberlite weathered with di-, and trivalent cations.
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