Beneficiation of Oolitic Iron Ores
Ironstone Resources Ltd. is developing the Clear Hills oolitic iron ore deposit in northwest Alberta, Canada. Sources of oolitic iron ore worldwide are abundant and ubiquitous, but there is currently no commercial technology to extract iron from oolitic iron ores. Mineral processing of the ore to generate a commercial iron ore concentrate is very challenging due to the nature of these ores. Accordingly, Hatch and Ironstone are developing a new pyrometallurgical process (Hatch Ironstone Chloride Segregation) to produce metallic iron from high silica and high phosphorus oolitic iron ores.
Following the chloride segregation process, the treated ore is subjected to fine grinding. The iron is then separated by magnetic separation. The iron grade and phosphorus content of the final product shows a strong dependence on the separation methodology and the grind size.
The pyrometallurgical process has been developed and tested at a lab-scale pilot plant. The commercialization of this technology could provide an opportunity for the development of a new alternate iron making technology. This paper presents the results of test work done on the raw iron ore to create a concentrate and also on the products of the pyrometallurgical process for the production of a high grade 90% metallic iron product.