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  • 1.
    Mulenshi, Jane
    et al.
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Minerals and Metallurgical Engineering.
    Khavari, Pourya
    Chelgani, Saeed Chehreh
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Minerals and Metallurgical Engineering.
    Rosenkranz, Jan
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Minerals and Metallurgical Engineering.
    Characterization and beneficiation options for tungsten recovery from Yxsjöberg historical ore tailings2019In: Processes, ISSN 2227-9717, Vol. 7, no 12, article id 895Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Repositories of historical tungsten mining tailings pose environmental risks, but are also potential resources for valuable metals. They still contain large tonnages of useful minerals and metals, reflecting the inefficient extraction methods and/or low metal prices at the time they were mined. The focus of this study is to evaluate the technical viability of reprocessing the tailings to recover some of the contained valuable minerals and metals, as well as reducing the negative environmental impact associated with the tailings. Geometallurgical studies were conducted on drill core samples taken from the Smaltjärnen tailings repository of the closed Yxsjöberg tungsten mine, Sweden. The collected samples were characterized physically, chemically, and mineralogically. Knelson concentrator dry low- and high-intensity magnetic separation methods were tested as potential beneficiation methods. The tailings are dominated by the −600 to +149 µm particles. The highest concentration of tungsten (W) was 0.22% WO3. Using a Knelson concentrator, scheelite (main W mineral) recovery was enhanced, with 75 wt.% tungsten recovered in the 34 wt.% heavy concentrate. Only 1.0 wt.% sulphur (S) reported to the non-magnetic fraction. Based on the findings, a methodology and a preliminary process flowsheet for reprocessing the tailings is proposed.

  • 2.
    Mulenshi, Jane
    et al.
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Minerals and Metallurgical Engineering.
    Khavari, Pourya
    Rosenkranz, Jan
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Minerals and Metallurgical Engineering.
    Characterization and feasible physical separation methods for Yxsjöberg historical tungsten ore tailings2019Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Relatively high minerals and metals content characterize historical tailings due to less efficient extraction methods and/or relatively low metal prices at the time. Repositories of such tailings pose environmental risks but could also become metals and minerals resources. An example of such tailings is the Yxsjöberg historical tungsten ore tailings in the Smaltjärnen tailings repository in Sweden.   

    The Smaltjärnen tailings repository was sampled by collecting drill core samples from different locations. The collected drill core samples were characterized physically (colour, texture, moisture content and particle size distribution) and chemically (elemental composition and distribution, and mineralogical composition). Feasible physical separation methods (magnetic and gravity separation) were pre-selected based on the tailings characteristics and the knowledge of processes from which the Yxsjöberg historical tailings were produced.

    In this paper, results from three drill cores each representing a different location on the tailings repository are presented. The tailings mass distribution was high in the coarser particle size fractions of +300 µm and +149 µm.  Tungsten (W) and Copper (Cu) were the metals of interest with one location having higher concentrations than the other two at 0.20 %WO3 and 0.14 %Cu. Sulphur (S) was recovered in the magnetic fractions of the LIMS and HIMS. Using the Knelson concentrator, W recovery was enhanced. These results are fundamental in the development of methods for separation of minerals and extraction of metals of interest from the historical tailings in order to leave behind an inert and environmentally safe residue.

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