Treatment of Iron Tailings at the Forecariah Guinea Mine - Guinea Conakry
Forecariah Guinea Mine SA (FGMSA) in Guinea - Conakry mines and processes Iron ore. About 0.5 Mt of tailings material has already been generated with additional 4000 tons generated daily. This paper presents a re-treatment technology for the Iron tailings obtained from the processing plant of FGMSA. Metallurgical tests were carried out on the tailings to determine which process route gives the most satisfactory result in terms of recovery and cost. Two representative samples (FCOPD-01 and FCDOP-02), taking from the tailings, were investigated. Particle Size Distribution (PSD) and chemical composition of various size fractions of representative samples of the tailings were performed. Dense Medium Separation (DMS) and Magnetic Separation (WHIMS) were also performed on a number of size fractions. The initial chemical composition of the various size fractions shows that the highest Fe grades were present in the +1 mm fractions at 58.8% and 58.6% for FCOPD-01 and FCOPD-02 respectively. The PSD of the tailings also indicated a mass yield of 77.9% for the +1 mm fraction and 22.1% for the -1 mm fraction. Contaminant Oxides, such as Al2O3 and SiO2 tend to be higher in the finer size fractions (-1 mm) of both samples. Result from the DMS analysis performed on the (-4 +0.5) mm fraction shows an underflow mass yields of 45.98% with Fe grade of 65.55% and overflow mass yield of 53.08% with Fe grade of just 13.5%. Magnetic separation (WHIMS) results on the (-4 +0.5) mm samples also gave varied mass yield and Fe grade at different magnetic intensities (3000 Gauss, 6000 Gauss and 10,000 Gauss). However, the highest Fe mass yield and grade produced from the magnetic separation were 18.10% and 50.8% respectively. The results show that DMS technique has the potential to re-treat the tailings at FGMSA.
Keywords: Treatment, Iron ore, Tailings, Magnetic separation, Dense Medium Separation