Application of magnetic separation technology for the recovery of colemanite from plant tailings
In this study, colemanite was recovered from tailings produced by the Kestelek (Turkey) Processing Plant by magnetic separation. Magnetic susceptibility measurements revealed that colemanite is diamagnetic in character whereas gangue minerals are weakly paramagnetic, apparently due to the presence of the iron-bearing silicates such as smectite and, to a less extent, illite. Three-stage magnetic separation tests were performed on the size fractions coarser than 75 µm produced from the tailings (31.52% B2O3) using a high-intensity permanent magnetic separator. Under the test conditions a colemanite concentrate with a B2O3 content of 43.74% at 95.06% recovery was shown to be produced from the tailings. The mineralogical composition of the tailings appears to allow the removal of gangue minerals by magnetic separation and hence the production of a concentrate of commercial grade.