Wet beneficiation of iron ore fines less than 1 mm typically involves a desliming stage ahead of the fine gravity separation such as spirals. The desliming is achieved using a bank of cyclones. The reject ultra-fines emerge in the overflow stream at relatively low pulp density, contain high proportions of low-value slimes, but also well-liberated iron ore ultra-fines below 0.045 mm in size; however, recovering the valuable iron ore ultra-fines from this overflow stream presents a significant challenge due to the need to remove such a large amount of water and slimes.
The REFLUX™ Graviton consists of distinct 3D-printed modular units, based on REFLUX™ Classifiers, which are rotated at high speed in a large centrifuge. This system has previously been investigated under semi-batch conditions, demonstrating the potential for precision separations with significant capacity. It has been shown that the throughput advantage of the inclined channels and G forces multiply. This is the first paper presented showing the performance of this system under continuous steady-state conditions. Ultra-fine silica in the size range of 0 to 0.045 mm was fed to the Graviton at different volumetric rates, fluidisation rates and pulp densities ranging from 2 wt per cent to 30 wt per cent, in order to develop a fundamental understanding of the system’s performance. Experiments were then repeated using ultra-fine iron ore.
Carpenter, J L, Iveson, S M and Galvin, K P, 2017. Separation of ultra-fine particles using the REFLUX™ Graviton, in Proceedings Iron Ore 2017, pp 141–148 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne).