Transactions of the Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration, Inc.
Transactions home

  SME FaceBook SME Twitter SME LinkedIn RSS Feed

Concentration of rare earth minerals from coal by froth flotation

Minerals & Metallurgical Processing , 2017, Vol. 34, No. 3, pp. 132-137

Zhang, W.; Honaker, R.; Groppo, J.



Rare earth elements (REEs) found in coal are in the form of minerals, ion-adsorbed onto clay surfaces or inner layers, or organically bound. Rare earth minerals such as monazite exist in coal and have grain sizes smaller than 5 µm. In this study, froth flotation was successful in concentrating rare earth minerals existing in a thickener underflow material derived from Fire Clay seam coal that contained around 431 ppm of total rare earth elements (TREE) on a dry ash basis. Conditioning with fatty acid followed by processing using multiple stages of conventional flotation produced a final concentrate containing 2,300 ppm TREE. Using a laboratory flotation column to limit hydraulic entrainment, the TREE content was further enriched to around 4,700 ppm, which equated to an enrichment ratio of 10:1.

Purchase this paper from the SME store