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Characterization and Iron Removal Treatment of Ion-Adsorption Rare Earth Tailings in Southern China

DOI: 10.4236/jmmce.2016.42012, PP. 127-134

Keywords: Tailings, Resource, Rare Earth, Iron Removal, Kaolinite, Magnetic Separation

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The ion-adsorption rare earth tailings have become a serious environmental pollution in Southern China, yet the potential of their economical value has not been fully exploited. In this work, the chemical and mineral compositions of the ion-adsorption rare earth tailings were characterized by Mineral Liberation Analyze (MLA) and XRF. The results show that 91.98 wt% of the tailings are composed of kaolinite and quartz, latter of which was removed by the sieving method. The other minor minerals contain feldspar, biotite, muscovite, titanomagnetite and limonite. Amongst these, the iron-bearing minerals are mostly found in the titanomagnetite and limonite which can be mostly removed by using a periodic high-gradient magnetic separator with a magnetic induction of 0.6 Tesla. The Fe2O3 content of the tailings changed from 2.11 wt% to 1.06 wt% after the sorting process, which met the Chinese national standard of TC-3 grade raw materials for ceramic industry applications. The Fe2O3 content in kaolinite was further decreased after Na2S2O4 treatment.


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