The Occurrence States of Rare Earth Elements Bearing Phosphorite Ores and Rare Earth Enrichment Through the Selective Reverse Flotation

Wenxiang Chen, Feng Zhou, Hongquan Wang, Sen Zhou, Chunjie Yan
2019 Minerals  
The reserve of rare-earth element-bearing phosphorite ores in Guizhou province in western China is huge. Increased demand for the different products manufactured from rare-earth elements has resulted in an extreme need for reasonable and comprehensive extraction of rare-earth elements. An improved understanding of rare-earth element occurrence states in single minerals of ores is important for their further processing. In this paper, rare-earth element contents were analyzed by inductively
more » ... by inductively coupled plasma (ICP), and the occurrence states in single minerals were further investigated through SEM-EDS and focused ion beam-scanning electron microscope (FIB-SEM) methods. The results indicate that rare-earth element contents of apatite are far more than that of dolomite. No independent mineral of rare-earth elements exists for the studied sample. Rare-earth elements are present in the form of ions in the lattices of apatite. Based on the analysis of occurrence states and properties in single minerals, the distribution of rare-earth elements in the flotation process was investigated by reverse flotation technology. It shows that rare-earth elements are mainly concentrated in apatite concentrate. Under the optimized conditions, the P2O5 grade increases from 11.36% in the raw ore to 26.04% in the concentrate, and the recovery is 81.92%, while the total rare-earth oxide grade increases from 0.09% to 0.21% with the recovery of 80.01%, which is similar to P2O5 recovery. This study presents the feasibility of extracting rare-earth elements from rare-earth element-bearing phosphorite ores through the flotation of apatite.
doi:10.3390/min9110698 fatcat:ledgcuwbznhbrceyizswtlhyhu