Processing of Industrial Minerals PIM ´10

ANZAPLAN’s discussion on processing lithium minerals sourced from pegmatite – a hard rock source, rather than the more talked about brines became of major interest during the Processing of Industrial Minerals Conference in early February.

Germany’s ANZAPLAN looked at combining selective fragmentation with optical sorting techniques to produce a higher purity, higher yield of lithium minerals – with a saleable quartz and feldspar by-product.

Selective fragmentation uses electrical discharge to fragment rocks, predominantly fracturing around natural crystal boundaries. Optical sorting was applied to ores subjected to selective fragmentation, to separate particles of both different colors and transparencies – such as spodumene, feldspar, and high and low grade quartz. By applying selective liberation processes during lithium minerals concentrate production, higher purity and higher yields can be achieved. In addition, because by-products are not ground to very small grain sizes they can be separated as monomineral concentrates – and in some cases sold commercially themselves.