Original paper

Characterisation of a complex lateritic ore by Mossbauer spectroscopy and its relevance in beneficiation of the ore

Sen, Ranen; Sarkar, Arindam; Banerjee, Snigdha; Spottiswood, D.J.

Abstract

A silica and iron rich Lateritic ore containing small amounts of nickel and other value metals is examined by 57Fe Mössbauer Spectroscopy to provide mineralogical, magnetic and structural information relevant to mineral concentration processes. The raw ore is found to contain 78% of the iron (Fe) in the form of very small crystallites (< 20 nm) of ∝-FeOOH (goethite), which are superparamagnetic at room temperature. 21% of the Fe is present as a magnetite like phase rather than chromites as previously believed. Backscatter Mössbauer techniques show that the Fe phase are non-uniformly distributed within the laterite grains. The results are correlated with tests of magnetic separation and flotation concentration methods.

Keywords

mossbauer spectroscopylateritegoethitenickelflotationmagnetic separation