ISSN 1062-7391, Journal of Mining Science, 2017, Vol. 53, No. 5, pp. 890–896. © Pleiades Publishing, Ltd., 2017.
Original Russian Text © V.A. Chanturia, V.G. Minenko, A.L. Samusev, E.L. Chanturia, E.V. Koporulina, 2017, published in Fiziko-Tekhnicheskie Problemy
Razrabotki Poleznykh Iskopaemykh, 2017, No. 5, pp. 105–112.
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The Mechanism of Influence Exerted by Integrated Energy
Impacts on Intensified Leaching of Zirconium and Rare Earth
Elements from Eudialyte Concentrate
V. A. Chanturia, V. G. Minenko, A. L. Samusev*, E. L. Chanturia,
and E. V. Koporulina
Academician Melnikov Institute of Integrated Mineral Resources Development—IPKON,
Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, 111020 Russia
Received August 28, 2017
Abstract—The article gives test data on the influence exerted by energy impacts (ultrasonic,
electrochemical and thermal) on the recovery of zirconium and rare earth elements from eudialyte
concentrate to leach solution in acid leaching. An original installation is developed for the implementation
of leaching. Based on the research findings on the kinetics of acid leaching of eudialyte concentrate and on
the change in the concentrate micro-structure and phase composition, the mechanism for the influence of
integrated energy effects on the efficiency of recovery of zirconium and rare earths into leach solution is
Keywords: Eudialyte, acid leaching, zirconium, rare earth elements, energy impacts.
The ever-increasing rare-earth element (REE) consumption with development of high-tech
industries predetermines the necessity to engineer innovative hydrometallurgical processes to upgrade
In the Russian Federation eudialyte is considered as a promising mineral resource for production of
zirconium, niobium, and rare-earth metals. The largest in the world huge eudialyte reserves occur in
Lovozero district deposits, Murmansk Region . Eudialytes contain zirconium, niobium, up to 2.5%
of rare-earth elements, including ittrium .
Eudialyte ores are amenable to open mining and easy processing at rather low production cost of
concentrates . However at present the processing of eudialyte materials is not practiced because of
the lack of efficient processes to reclean the final concentrate with the yield of high-grade zirconium
product at low capital expenditures. In available publications the different processes to treat eudialyte
concentrates are based on multistage acid decomposition (sulphuric, nitric, chlorhydric, and fluorhydric
acids) at their large stoichiometric excess up to 300% [3–7]. All the reported processes imply the use of
high-temperature (above 90
°С) leaching operation of appreciable duration (more than 3 h) with
different catalyzers, and imperative utilization of all the components of eudialyte concentrates.
Therewith the recovery of valuable components does not, as a rule, exceed 80%.
Moreover, when dissolving eudialyte grains get covered with silica gel layer, which contributes to
a lower rate of acid diffusion and hindered splitting of liquid and solid phases through filtration.
One of perspective directions in intensification of processing of rebellious mineral materials is
implementation of energy effects (ultrasound, high-voltage pulses, plasma and electrochemical
treatment, etc.) on mineral suspensions. The cited treatment enables to improve opening,
disintegration of finely-dispersed mineral complexes and to recover micro-and nano-particles of
nonferrous and noble metals in the follow-on dressing of mineral materials [8–12].