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Production of trona concentrates using high-intensity dry magnetic separation followed by flotation

Minerals & Metallurgical Processing , 2011, Vol. 28, No. 2, pp. 55-61

Ozdemir, O.; Gupta, V.; Miller, J.D.; Cinar, M.E.; Celik, M.S.


 Soda ash, an essential raw material for major industries, such as the glass, chemicals, soap and detergents, pulp and paper, mining and water treatment industries, is traditionally produced by chemical and thermal treatment of trona ore. The treatment processes for trona ore are not only chemically expensive but also energy intensive. Hence, the production of a high-purity trona concentrate at a lower energy and operating cost is of considerable interest to the trona industry. In this study, we describe a possible two-stage process for concentrating trona ore, involving dry magnetic separation followed by flotation, to remove insoluble impurities from the trona ore. The results showed that a trona concentrate of 91.7% purity with a recovery 91.1% can be obtained by two-stage magnetic separation, which could be further improved to 98.1% purity at a recovery of 83.8% by subsequent flotation of the non-magnetic trona product. The purity of trona concentrate is limited by the particle size and impurity content of the trona ore. The operating parameters for magnetic separation and flotation have been identified to obtain an acceptable quality concentrate.