Characterization of Bayan Obo Rare-Earth tailings

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Marco E. Ciriotti
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Characterization of Bayan Obo Rare-Earth tailings

Messaggio da Marco E. Ciriotti » lun 02 ott, 2023 11:23

▪ Shao, D., Du, X., Deng, Y., Yan, Z., Duan, W., Yu, H., Qi, T. (2023): The Process Mineralogical Characterization of Bayan Obo Rare-Earth Tailings and Density Functional Theory Study of the Occurrence State of Sc. Minerals, 13, 1287.

As Bayan Obo rare-earth tailings, which are generated after the production of mineral products with the raw ore from different mining areas, are considered secondary resources rich in valuable elements such as F, Fe, REE, and Nb, an effective method is urgently needed to recover such valuable elements for resource recycling and environmental conservation. A mineralogical analysis can enable process diagnosis, design, and optimization and is the key to comprehensively utilizing valuable elements. Hence, detailed mineralogical characterization is necessary as a starting point to develop a feasible processing flowsheet. In this study, various detection methods, namely inductively coupled plasma-optical emission spectrometry (ICP), X-ray Fluorescence Spectrometer (XRF), X-ray powder diffractometer (XRD), scanning electron microscopy system with an energy dispersive spectrometer (SEM-EDS), mineral liberation analysis (MLA), and electron probe microanalysis (EPMA), were applied to conduct detailed mineralogical characterization of Bayan Obo rare-earth tailings, and the occurrence state of Sc in the main Sc-bearing minerals was studied using density functional theory (DFT). The results showed that Fe mainly occurs in hematite, riebeckite, ankerite, siderite, and pyrite, with contents of 50.15 wt%, 27.94 wt%, 8.34 wt%, 4.92 wt%, and 5.59 wt%, respectively. Nearly all F occurs in 26.8 wt% fluorite. The main rare-earth minerals are bastnasite, apatite, and monazite (La), with contents of 5.0%, 5.0%, and 1.6% in Bayan Obo rare-earth tailings, respectively. Notably, 48.47%, 21.70%, 10.34%, and 10.28% of niobium element occurs in nioboaeschynite, pyrochlore, dingdaohengite, and ilmenorutile, respectively. Scandium was detected in five minerals, namely aegirine, riebeckite, monazite, ilmenorutile, and niobite, with average contents of 0.04 wt%, 0.22 wt%, 0.06 wt%, 0.06 wt%, and 1.58 wt%, respectively. According to the DFT analysis, the state of Sc in aegirine is different from that in riebeckite. Scandium in aegirine mainly substitutes Fe or enters the interstitial lattice site, while Sc in riebeckite tends to replace Fe. Based on these results, a process for recovering valuable elements from tailings is proposed.
Marco E. Ciriotti

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