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ArticleName Assessment of eddy current separator applicability for the separation of non-magnetic minerals
DOI 10.17580/or.2023.03.04
ArticleAuthor Pelevin A. E.

Ural State Mining University (Ekaterinburg, Russia):

Pelevin A. E., Professor, Doctor of Engineering Sciences, Associate Professor,


Eddy current separation is currently used in the processing of secondary raw materials to obtain metallic copper-aluminum concentrates. Theoretically, eddy current separation may be used in the processing of non-magnetic ore minerals. A formula was derived, using the laws of electrodynamics, to calculate the Ampere force acting on particlesin a drum eddy current separator. Mathematical modeling was performed to assess the Ampere force acting on Au, Al, Cu, and Pb metal particles, as well as on chalcopyrite, pyrite, and native gold. The key parameters and operation modes affecting the processing efficiency were described for drum eddy current separators. Increased frequency and induction of the alternating magnetic field, longer particles, and higher electrical conductivity to particle density ratios tend to improve separation efficiency in an eddy current separator. It has been suggested that, at Ampere force values exceeding 20 % of the force of gravity, a particle may be recovered into the conductive product. The paper presents the results of experiments on the separation of Al, Cu, and Pb metal particles and on the recovery of pyrite particles into the conductive fraction in a drum eddy current separator. The experiments confirm the conclusions of the mathematical modeling. At an alternating magnetic field frequency of 225 Hz, Al and Cu particles with a particle length of more than 10 mm may be recovered into the conductive fraction. The use of eddy current separation for the dry separation of particles of non-magnetic ore minerals, however, does not seem very promising at the current technology level.

keywords Drum eddy current separator, Ampere force, magnetic field induction, electrical conductivity, Al, Cu, and Pb metal particles, chalcopyrite, pyrite

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