The reclamation of mica flakes from tailing disposal using gravity separators and flotation

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Department of Mining Engineering, Isfahan University of Technology, Isfahan 84156-83111, Iran

2 Department of Mining Engineering, Engineering Faculty, Urmia University, Urmia, Iran

3 3.Department of Mining Engineering, Engineering Faculty, Shahid Bahonar University, Kerman, Iran;Materials and Energy Research Center (MERC), Karaj, Iran


A sample from the small-sized tailing pile of an Iranian mica processing plant was subjected to a series of mica recovery experiments. Mineralogical and microscopic investigations indicated that the dominant mica mineral was phlogopite which was accompanied by plagioclase feldspars. Before beneficiation studies, the particle size distribution of the representative sample was obtained, and the specifications of each size fraction were investigated in detail. It was observed that the largest portion of mica (31%) is accumulated in the size range of 0.3 to 2.0 mm. Afterward, gravity concentration and flotation experiments were carried out. Results proved that shaking table could produce a mica concentrate with grade of 74%. Also, according to the flotation tests, it seemed the best size fraction was -150+75, and after that, -100+150. Flotation in combination with attrition scrubbing produced a concentrate with 92% mica content and 70% recovery. Finally, with respect to the results of all implemented experiments, a processing flow sheet was proposed for mica reclamation from the mentioned waste disposal.


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