Influence of hematite particle morphology on friable itabirite concentration in Humphreys spiral concentrator / Influência da morfologia da hematita presente em itabirito friável na concentração por espiral concentradora Humphreys

Fábio de São José, João Paulo Sousa Coelho, Carlos Alberto Pereira


The depletion of hematitic mineral deposits and the growing content of itabirites in the iron ores mined in the Quadrilátero Ferrífero - Brazil calls for further studies in an effort to adjust the actual technologies, due to the different behaviors of the different mineral species present in the new ore. Currently, little is known about the fundamentals of particle separation in Humphreys spiral, as far as the different particles morphologies. Therefore, the performance of a spiral concentrator was evaluated by a sequence of friable itabirite tests at an industrial scale. The smallest iron content and smaller metallurgical recovery attained in the tests owe to a small particle size in sample (33.67% < 106 µm and d80 ≈ 675 µm) and a greater content of tabular hematite. The sample showing the worst metallurgical recovery results (46.20%) and iron content (62.39%) also presented the highest percentage of tabular hematite (68.69%). The samples with a greater amount of martite produced sinter feed with the highest metallurgical recovery (65.65%). It is believed that there was a predominant effect of the hematite morphology on other parameters such as density. Thus, a careful characterization step and the adoption of blending procedures concerning iron content and morphology simultaneously can be positive for the process.



friable itabirite; Humphreys spiral concentrator; mineral morphology; metallurgical recovery.


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