Lithium Ore

With the development of technology, electronic equipment and new energy industries, the demand for lithium ore has increased rapidly. Therefore, lithium ore is known as the "energy metal that drives the progress of the world".

Typical lithium ore is divided into spodumene (containing Li2O 5.80%-8.10%), spodumene (containing Li2O 2.90%-4.80%), lepidolite (containing Li2O 3.20%-6.45%), spodumene ( Containing Li2O 1.10%-5.00) 5%) and lepidolite (containing Li2O 7.10%-10.10%). The more common ones are spodumene and lepidolite.

Lithium Ore

Lithium Ore Processing

The lithium concentrate equipment includes crushing, grinding, sorting and other processes. Crushing is to turn large pieces of lithium ore or materials into small pieces to meet the requirements of the user department or the next process for the particle size of lithium ore products. According to the particle size of crushing, it can be divided into coarse crushing, medium crushing and fine crushing. Grinding is to dissociate lithium ore from gangue minerals with the help of media (steel balls, steel rods, gravel) and the impact and grinding action of minerals themselves in grinding equipment, such as ball mills, to provide particle size. Materials that meet the requirements of the next beneficiation process. Sorting, also known as lithium ore sorting or sorting, uses certain beneficiation methods to separate useful minerals, gangue minerals and different useful minerals in lithium ore from each other and enrich them separately. The sorted products are lithium ore concentrate and lithium ore tailings.

lithium ore processing plant

Different lithium ores have different properties. Due to the low content of lithium oxide in the minerals and the complex chemical decomposition process of different minerals, the separation process of lithium ore is also complicated. In industrial practice, the methods of lithium ore processing to separate lithium ore: flotation method, manual separation method, thermal disintegration, magnetic separation method, resuspension method, chemical treatment method, combined beneficiation method.

1. Lithium ore hand selection method

Lithium ore processing manual selection method can be used for the initial screening of lithium ore. According to the difference in color, appearance and gloss of lithium ore and gangue, waste rock is manually sorted out to improve the grade of lithium ore in subsequent sorting operations. . In lithium ore beneficiation, hand-separation method is often used to separate coarse-grained crystalline lithium ore. Generally, the ore particle size is between 10-25mm, the width is not more than 1200mm, and the hand-selection belt speed should be controlled at 0.2~0.4 m/s. 

Lithium ore hand selection method

2. Lithium ore flotation method

Lithium ore processing flotation method is currently the main lithium ore sorting method. All lithium ore with industrial value can be enriched by flotation method, especially the lithium ore that exists in the form of fine-grained dissemination. Common lithium ore flotation methods include positive flotation and reverse flotation.

Flotation separation

Lithium ore positive flotation method

The positive flotation method of lithium ore refers to the addition of strong alkali flotation after the lithium ore is ground (try to avoid the phenomenon of sludge caused by over-grinding). After high-concentration, strong stirring, and multiple scrubbing in alkaline medium, oleic acid and its soaps are added as collectors to directly flotate lithium concentrate, leaving gangue minerals in the tank. This process does not need to be added. inhibitor.

The method of positive flotation of lithium ore processing is to add sodium hydroxide to the slurry at the beginning for stirring and scrubbing to remove the pollutants on the surface. After desliming and washing, the following three methods are used:

(1) First float mica, then float spodumene, and finally float feldspar. The steps are:

① In weakly acidic medium, use cationic pumice;

② Concentrate the flotation tailings to 50% solids, adjust with oleic acid collectors and alcohol foaming agents, dilute to 17% solids, and float spodumene;

③ After the spodumene tailings are treated with hydrofluoric acid, a cationic collector is added to float the feldspar.

(2) Lithium ore processing lithium concentrate equipment first floats spodumene, then floats mica, and then floats feldspar. The steps are:

① Concentrate the ore pulp to 64% solid, add oil acid, sulfuric acid and foaming agent to stir, then dilute to 21% solid, float spodumene;

② The mica in the spodumene flotation tailings is floated with a cationic collector;

Lithium ore positive flotation method

③ Mica flotation tailings are activated by adding hydrofluoric acid to feldspar, and cationic collector pumice is added.

(3) Lithium ore processing lithium concentrate equipment mixed flotation of spodumene and mica, and finally pumice. The steps are:

① Add sulfuric acid to the thick slurry to reconcile, then add an anionic collector to flotate mica and spodumene;

② The mixed concentrate is stirred in an acidic medium to float mica and iron-containing minerals, and the product in the tank is spodumene;

③ The tailings after flotation are mixed, treated with hydrofluoric acid, and then treated with cationic collector pumice.

Lithium ore reverse flotation method

The reverse flotation method of lithium ore processing refers to the use of lime to create an alkaline environment, adding starch, dextrin, etc. to inhibit the floating of lithium ore, and at the same time using cationic collectors to make silicate gangue minerals float on the surface of the slurry, floating The product in the concentrator tank is lithium concentrate. If the lithium ore contains iron minerals, a foaming agent (such as HF, resinate) can be added to further help remove impurities such as iron minerals.

Lithium ore processing reverse flotation is carried out in alkaline pulp, dextrin, starch, etc. are used as spodumene inhibitors, terpineol oil is used as foaming agent, and amine cationic collectors are used for flotation of quartz, Gangue minerals such as feldspar and mica are spodumene after iron is removed from the product in the tank.

Lithium ore reverse flotation method

3. Dense medium beneficiation method for lithium ore

Generally speaking, the specific gravity difference between lithium minerals and gangue minerals is not more than 0.2-0.5g/m3, which is not suitable for gravity separation with shakers or jigs. Lithium ore processing can use heavy medium beneficiation method to make lithium ore a heavy mineral product, while gangue mineral is a light product. The lithium ore after washing and desliming is mixed with heavy medium (heavy medium includes heavy liquid and resuspension, here mainly refers to resuspension). In addition, heavy and light products can be separated. The heavy products become lithium concentrates after being deintermediated by the deintermediation sieve, and the light products become tailings after deintermediation by deintermediation sieves. The main components are gangue minerals such as quartz, feldspar, and biotite.

Dense medium beneficiation method for lithium ore

4.Magnetic separation method

Lithium ore is often associated with complex components and the lithium concentrate obtained by flotation sometimes contains more iron. To improve lithium concentrate grade, the magnetic separation method is used as an auxiliary method.

Magnetic separation method

Conclusion

Lithium ore beneficiation is an important part of the comprehensive utilization of mineral resources, and an important way for mines to increase production, reduce costs and improve product quality. Only by adopting beneficiation methods suitable for lithium ore for the specific properties of different minerals can the ore be fully utilized. Based on the main principle of improving efficiency and reducing costs, staff should vigorously develop mineral processing technology, and continuously improve the level of mineral processing industry and mineral processing technology, so as to better meet the needs of domestic and foreign markets.

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