Luossavaara-Kiirunavaara AB (LKAB) operates an iron ore mine, three concentration plants and three pelletising plants in Kiruna, Sweden. The current methods of separation at the beneficiation plants are low intensity magnetic separation (LIMS) and reverse flotation (i. e., apatite is floated and magnetite depressed), where the wet LIMS stage is regarded as the crucial part of the separation of silica from the ore. It is increasingly important to understand the Kiirunavaara high-grade iron ore deposit from a mineral processing perspective as well as from a mineralogical and geochemical perspective as the production in the mine is advancing towards deeper levels with higher concentrations of SiO2 in the ore. The mineral processing parameters such as the natural breaking characteristics, specific energy consumption and degree of liberation of magnetite and silicate minerals are equally important. The intergrowth of magnetite with actinolite is of particular importance for understanding the processes in the processing plants in Kiruna and the flotation behaviour of silicate minerals. The iron ore deposit at Kiirunavaara consists mainly of magnetite and apatite, with an average grade of 63.8% Fe and 0.4% P (estimated from the 3D resource model, LKAB) and with varying, but mostly small, amounts of gangue minerals, mostly silicates and carbonates. Based on mineralogical investigations, actinolite and phlogopite and in many cases also chlorite, titanite, quartz and albite are the most significant SiO2-bearing minerals in the ore. Currently, the high-grade iron ore deposit of Kiirunavaara has in situ a low grade of silica of approximately 3% SiO2. However, the SiO2 grade is expected to increase in the deeper parts of the deposit. It can be assumed that the silicate mineralogy and the SiO2 grade in the crude ore undoubtedly impact the SiO2 content of the final products, i. e. the iron ore pellets and/or iron ore fines.
BHM Berg- und H�ttenm_nnische Monatshefte – Springer Journals
Published: Jun 29, 2017
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