Valorisation de l'apatite des résidus de la mine Niobec

Authors: Clapperton, Anthony
Advisor: Bazin, Claude
Abstract: Niobec Mine produces ferroniobium from a pyrochlore rich carbonatite deposit. The gangue associated to the ore has an average concentration of 6. 8 % apatite (3. 5 % P2O5). The objective of the study is the evaluation of the economic potential of the valorization of the apatite in the tailings of Mine Niobec. Apatite is the main source of phosphorous for the production of fertilizers. Savard (1981) and Dramou (2016) have completed exploratory laboratory test work on the recovery of apatite from Niobec’s tailings. Their work, in agreement with the literature, demonstrated the difficulty of obtaining a sellable apatite concentrate because of the presence of carbonated minerals with a high proportion of magnesium. The study presented in this thesis includes, laboratory tests to characterize the tailings and evaluate the performances of different methods in regard of the production of a sellable phosphate concentrate. A preconcentration consisting of a size based separation is used to separate the coarser fraction of the residuals from the plant tailings of the Niobec. Indeed, the characterization study having shown that the concentration of apatite is higher in the coarser fractions. Froth flotation tests showed that reverse flotation at acid pH allows the separation of apatite from carbonated gangue with an outstanding selectivity. However, the produced concentrated did not yet meet the required composition of a sellable apatite concentrate. To rectify the composition, calcination and lixiviation tests were carried out. Lixiviation under controlled pH allowed a selective dissolution of residual dolomite from prior process of classification and flotation. This experimental approach developed in this thesis consists of three steps to produce marketable apatite concentrate, i. e. desliming, reverse flotation and lixiviation. An economic evaluation revealed that the beneficiation of the apatite from Niobec mine’s tailings has the potential to generate positive cash flow.
Document Type: Mémoire de maîtrise
Issue Date: 2019
Open Access Date: 8 August 2019
Grantor: Université Laval
Collection:Thèses et mémoires

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