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ArticleName Study of the composition of an apatite concentrate obtained from apatite-nepheline ores from Khibiny fracture zones
DOI 10.17580/or.2023.06.03
ArticleAuthor Marchevskaya V. V., Mitrofanova G. V., Rumyantseva N. S.

Mining Institute of the Kola Science Centre of RAS (Apatity, Russia)

Marchevskaya V. V., Leading Researcher, Candidate of Engineering Sciences, Associate Professor,
Mitrofanova G. V., Leading Researcher, Candidate of Engineering Sciences, Associate Professor,
Rumyantseva N. S., Leading Technologist


The share of refractory apatite-nepheline ores obtained from fracture zones in the total raw materials processed has been constantly growing in recent years. Flotation of such ores reduces their process indicators, including hinders the recovery of a standard apatite concentrate with a mass fraction of P2O5 of at least 39.0 %. This is due to the presence of a large number of fine particles — fractured products of nepheline and pyroxenes — in ground ores. Detailed particle size distribution and mineral composition studies were conducted for the highly hypergenically altered apatite-nepheline ore and the apatite concentrate obtained from it. It has been shown that the content of fluorapatite in the apatite concentrate material with a particle size of less than 0.16 mm decreases steadily with lower particle sizes and is more than 10 % lower in the –10 μm sludge fraction as compared to the average for the concentrate. The apatite concentrate, and its fine classes especially, contain clay minerals, zeolites, iron hydroxides, mica, cancrinite, and sodalite. Their content grows steadily with finer particle sizes and increases in the sludge fraction by a factor of 2.3 to 6.3 relative to the average value. The sizes of secondary mineral particles (brown), as estimated from the results of sludge fraction sedimentation tests, were 0.5 to 0.8 μm. No standard apatite concentrate was obtained from the initial ore despite the use of a collector mix with high selectivity to fluorapatite. It was only with preliminary desliming and the removal of fines with a mass fraction of 6.6 % P2O5 that it became possible to improve the resulting concentrate grade to 39.4 % P2O5.

keywords Apatite-nepheline ores, hypergene alteration zones of ores, fluorapatite, nepheline, secondary minerals, flotation, classification, sludge, apatite concentrate.

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