The beneficiation process can be defined as a treatment process of ore which results in a more concentrated form of the product. It is often used in the preparation of iron ore for smelting.
This is an essential process as it helps improve the yield from a deposit of ore, thereby increasing the potential profits that can be obtained from the ore and allowing mining companies to increase the overall profitability of a mine.
The beneficiation process can be performed in a number of ways according to the requirement. The key end result is to eliminate inefficiency and wastage by ensuring that all the possible material that can be extracted from an ore is carried out.
One of the most common mineral beneficiation processes includes sample preparation, size classification and concentration. Each of these processes involves a range of activities:
- Sample preparation will require drying, dewatering and the mixing of samples.
- Comminution will require rock size reduction by crushing and grinding.
- Size classification will require screening, de-sliming and cycloning.
In the case of a lower-grade iron ore, the beneficiation process includes activities such as crushing, milling, gravity or heavy media separation, screening and silica froth flotation. These activities will help improve the concentration of the ore and remove impurities. The end result will be high quality fine ore powders that are referred to as fines.
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