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Glass- and ceramic-grade feldspar from waste

By C.J. Mitchell and E.J. Evans


In a typical feldspar operation extraction and size reduction may account for 20 to 25% of operating costs. Production of feldspar from feldspathic quarry fines and / or mine tailings would avoid this cost as the material has already been extracted and crushed. Other benefits arise from a reduction in waste treatment and disposal, an increase in the revenue realised per tonne of material extracted and, ultimately, an environmental benefit from a reduction in feldspar mined.\ud \ud Feldspathic waste materials in the form of granite fines from an aggregate quarry in Scotland and tailings from a former tin mine in Namibia were examined. Samples were processed on a laboratory-scale as an initial investigation into the feasibility of producing glass- and ceramic-grade feldspar products. A combination of magnetic separation and a two-stage froth flotation was used to remove iron-bearing minerals, mica and to separate quartz from feldspar. An HF-free froth flotation process was used for the latter. High-purity feldspar was produced with Fe2O3 and alkali contents similar to those of commercial feldspar. High-purity quartz was also produced as a by-product.on the basis of these laboratory results, the potential for scalingup the processing of fedlsapthic waste to a commercial scale would appear to be a viable prospect.\u

Topics: Earth Sciences
Year: 1996
OAI identifier: oai:nora.nerc.ac.uk:8831

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