The Flotation Recovery of High-Purity Gibbsite Concentrates from a Brazilian Bauxite Ore

Bittencourt, Luis R. M. ; Lin, Chen L. ; Miller, Jan D.
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 9
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1990
Recently research efforts have been made to obtain a high-purity gibbsite concentrate, suitable for first-class alumina refractories, from a Brazilian bauxite ore containing gibbsite (50%), quartz (35%),and kaolinite (15%). Detailed polished-section microprobe analysis was used to describe the liberation characteristics of the ore. Experimental results suggest that the kaolinite liberation characteristics can be described by King's liberation model and that only about 11% of the kaolinite is expected to be liberated at a particle size of 75 ยต. Bench-scale experiments for the flotation of gibbsite/kaolinite from quartz using alkyl sulfates as collectors were particularly successful at pH 2, and under appropriate conditions a concentrate containing 93.0% A1 0 (calcined basis) was obtained 2 3 at a gibbsite recovery of about 96%. Subsequently, the more difficult separation of kaolinite from gibbsite was accomplished by kaolinite flotation from the alumina concentrate with a quaternary ammonium salt at pH 6 to produce a high-purity gibbsite product, 97.4% A12O3 (calcined basis), at an overall gibbsite recovery from the bauxite flotation feed of about 90%.
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