Mineral processing is the physical and mechanical removal of minerals from ore or any other undesirable materials. This process can be accomplished by using many different techniques but they all require a few important steps. The first is physically breaking up large rocks , so that they can be reduced to smaller pieces, which makes them more manageable. Another way of segregating these minerals is through grinding the rocks into smaller pieces. The next stage in mineral processing is adding water to form a slurry that separates valuable minerals from waste. The final step is to dry out and get rid of the precious minerals.
Mineral processing is accomplished through a range of large-scale equipment and also by hand-picking. The process of removing the ore from earth is just one step. After that, you’ll need to find a way to extract the minerals, as well as other elements that comprise the metal.
Some typical equipment used in mineral processing plants includes jigs, concentrators, flotation cells autogenous (AG) mills trommels, ball mills, shaker tables, trommels magnetic separation equipment and gravity extraction methods.
The production of a variety of elements, including gold, copper and nickel, depends on the mineral processing. Mineral processing, though it appears complicated initially, it is actually a relatively simple procedure of mining valuable minerals and then adding simple chemicals to separate them.
Here are some ground rules to ensure a successful mineral processing
Processed ore must not be contaminated with of waste substances (i.e. or gangue). The material must be dry, free from sulfides and soluble salts. It should have a good shape or be easily broken into pieces that are small enough to allow treatment.
An acceptable ore should contain a minimum of sulfides and the soluble salts, the forms of sulfur and salts that cause the most problems in processing. It should be large and round, so that it can be quickly reduced into smaller pieces through cutting or grinding machines.
Mineral processing usually starts with breaking down the ore into smaller pieces (a procedure known as comminution). The finer the comminution, the greater the surface area the mineral will be exposed to reagents which can facilitate better processing. The equipment used for mineral processing restricts the size of the particles. It usually ranges from 5 millimeters to 0.0774 millimeters for particles that pass through a circular hole sieve. However bigger particles can be several decimeters.
Mills and crushers are two kinds of machines which grind or break the rock into smaller pieces. Crushers are used to reduce massive amounts of ore into smaller pieces. There are many kinds of crushers like compress crushers and impact crushers which use high-speed steel teeth to break up ore by compressing it. This process is often performed in stages, with the size of specific mineral fractions decreasing gradually.
Mills create ore pulp through grinding or pulverizing ore between two surfaces which rotate at different rates. The surfaces are typically coated with manganese-based liners, which are typically manganese steel due to its being more durable than other alloying element. Manganese steel liners are difficult to replace or repair when they’ve worn out.
A different step in mineral processing involves separating the precious minerals from garbage. Density and magnetic separation are two common methods of seperation.
Magnetic separation is a process that makes use of magnets to separate minerals from gangue materials, or the ores that have multiple minerals. Magnetic separation equipment includes drum separators, trommels and pulsed field (PF) separators. These can be used to separate valuable minerals according to their density, form and magnetic properties. The process of choice is dependent on many factors including the rock type (i.e., sulfides or pure) and size of the equipment, ore characteristics (i.e., easy or crushing hard), presence of magnets in ore or waste streams as well as the level of dilution etc.
For more information, click mineral processors