Reagent Preparation, Distribution and Feeding Systems at the Tilden Mine

Keranen, Charles U.
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 12
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1986
The Tilden Mine is an iron ore mining, processing and pelletizing facility located on the Marquette Iron Range in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. It has a designed capacity to produce 8 million long tons of pellets annually from 21 million long tons of crude. It is a partnership owned by The Cleveland-Cliffs Iron Company, Algoma Steel Corporation, LTV Steel Corporation, the Steel Company of Canada, Wheeling Pitts- burgh Steel Corporation and the Sharon Steel Corporation. Cleveland- Cliffs manages and operates the Tilden. The crude ore averages 35% iron and is primarily non-magnetic iron oxide and silica. The major ore mineral is martite. Hematite, earthy hematite, goethite and magnetite are also present. The principal gangue mineral is chert. The ore grains are mostly in the 10 to 25 micron size range which necessitates very fine grinding for liberation. The concentrating process is the most complex one used in the iron ore industry. The unique technology for Tilden was developed in the mid and late 60's. The design and construction occurred in the early 70's and operation of the first phase which was of 4 MLTPY capacity began in October. 1974. Expansion of the facility to the current 8 MLTPY capacity was completed in 1979. Chemicals are the key to the beneficiation process at the Tilden Mine. The flowsheet utilizes selective flocculation - desliming, cationic silica flotation and concentrate dewatering by thickening and filtering. Nine different process chemcals are used. The control of the reagent feed systems is highly auto- mated. The entire concentrator is operated from a central control room. The concentrator flow diagram is presented in figure 1. The plant consists of 12 primary autogenous grinding lines, a common crushing circuit to handle an intermediate product within the primary grinding section, 24 pebble mill lines with cyclones and deslime thickeners, 12 flotation lines, 4 concentrate thickeners and slurry tanks, 8 lines of filters with six machines per line, and 2 tailings thickeners. A pumping system was installed in 1980 to permit the direct return of tailings thickener overflow water back to the reuse water pumphouse.
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