As a light metal, lithium is widely used in industrial production because of its great toughness, good ductility and good chemical activity. At present, the types of lithium ore used in the industrial field are spodumene, lithium micite, lithium phosphate aluminum stone, iron lithium micite and lithium permeable feldase. Because of the different types, the mineral beneficiation process is not the same.
The main lithium ore beneficiation methods include：flotation separation method, magnetic separation method, heavy medium beneficiation method and combined beneficiation method.
All the lithium ores with industrial value can be enriched by flotation, especially those present in fine-grained leached form.
The common method of lithium flotation includes positive flotation method and reverse flotation method.
After lithium ores ground (avoid over-grinding as much as possible), add starches, dextrins and other reagents to discourage the upward movement of lithium ores. Strong stirring in highly concentrated alkaline media, then scrubbing and desliming several times. The lithium concentrates can be floated by oleic acid and its soap salt-trapping agents. The gangue minerals are left in flotation tank. The inhibitors are not additional required in this procedure.
It creates an alkaline environment with lime. Starch and dextrin are added to inhibit the float of lithium. At the same time, cationic trapping agents are added to float the silicate vein minerals. The products in flotation are lithium concentrates. If there are iron minerals in lithium ores, foaming agents(such as HF and resin acid salts) can be added to remove iron and other impurities furtherly.
Lithiophane with iron impurities
There are some iron impurities in lithiophane.These minerals are weakly magnetic. They can be removed by strong magnetic separation to require low-iron lithiophane concentrates.
This method is easy to operate and control, with strong adaptability.
Spodumene with a relatively coarse crystal size,the specific gravity difference between lithium minerals and gangue minerals is not more than 0.2-0.5g/m3.
Mix the lithium ore after washing and desliming with heavy-media (there are two types of heavy medium: heavy liquid and heavy suspension, here mainly refer to heavy suspension), and feed it into the heavy medium cyclone at a pressure of 0.05-0.20Mpa for separation. Heavy products and light products can be separated. The heavy products become lithium concentrates after being stripped through the stripping sieve, and the light products become tailings after stripping off the stripping sieve, and its main components are gangue minerals such as quartz, feldspar, and biotite.
The lithium ores in nature are often associated with complex components
The lithium ores in nature are often associated with complex components. Therefore, it is sometimes difficult to obtain qualified lithium concentrates with single beneficiation method. In this case, Xinhai Mining chooses the combined process for lithium ore separation, such as flotation-magnetic separation process, flotation-gravity-magnetic separation process, flotation-chemical treatment process, etc.
Oxidized paraffin soap and naphthenic acid soap are used as a combined collector first, and NaOH is a pH regulator. The one-coarse and one-fine flotation process is used in the alkaline mineral slurry to obtain spodumene concentrate. Then, remove iron by strong magnetic separation to get concentrate with low iron content.
Ground materials after slurry adjustment are sent to gravity separation (remove tantalum, niobium and other products), gravity separation tailings after desliming by concentrator. Gravity separation tailings are concentrated and deslimed by thickener.
Sinomine Resources Group CO., LTD. acquired Zimbabwe Bikita lithium mine for 1.146 billion. After learning about Xinhai Mineral Processing EPC+M+O service, it signed the contract of Zimbabwe 2 million TPA lithium pyroxene project with Xinhai. Xinhai will provide the mineral processing EPC+M+O service including research and design, all-set equipment manufacturing and purchasing, commission and delivery.