Flotation Studies on Low-Grade Phosphate Rock of Tarnawai, District Abbottabad, KPK Province, Pakistan
Low-Grade Phosphate Rock
A low-grade siliceous sedimentary phosphate rock assaying 22.05% P205 was upgraded by double float (direct and reverse) technology. The rock contains collophane (carbonate fluorapatite) as the valuable phosphate mineral along with siliceous, carbonaceous and clay minerals. A process was developed which yielded a high-grade phosphate concentrate with improved recovery rate. The developed process consists of three parts. The first part includes wet grinding of ore to liberation point followed by separation of fines (slimes) by cone classifier. The finely ground deslimed ore was floated by direct anionic flotation using oleic acid collector to get rougher phosphate concentrate. It was cleaned once using additional quantity of reagents. In the second part, the fines generated during grinding operation were floated by column flotation to recover phosphate values. The cleaned concentrate and column concentrate were mixed together and washed thoroughly with hot water to remove the attached reagents. The final part comprises of cationic flotation of combined phosphate concentrate with fatty amine collector to float away quartz and silicates and to leave behind phosphate values. The grade of final phosphate concentrate was found to be 32.85% P205 with an overall recovery of 88.14%. The concentrate obtained meets the specifications of fertilizer and acid grade.