, Volume 44, Issue 1, pp 28-36
Date: 08 Nov 2012

Recovery Behavior of Rare Earth from Bayan Obo Complex Iron Ore

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Abstract

A novel process is presented for recovering rare earth from Bayan Obo complex iron ore. The iron ore was reduced and melting separated to produce iron nugget and rare-earth-rich slag. In order to investigate the influence of cooling rate on mineral components, especially the enrichment behavior of RE-containing mineral, the slag was remelted at 1673 K (1400 °C) and the liquid slags were cooled using three types of cooling conditions, water quenching, air cooling, and furnace cooling. Subsequently, the slags were leached by hydrochloric acid to evaluate the relations between leaching efficiency of rare earth and cooling conditions. The results indicated that the slags under different cooling conditions mainly contained fluorite, cefluosil, and cuspidine. The rare-earth mineral is more fully crystallized when the cooling rate of the liquid slag was decreased. The proportion of Ce (III) to Ce (IV) increases with the increase of heating time and decrease of cooling rate. It has been found that the influence of cooling rate on the leaching rate of the rare earth is slight. From water quenching to furnace cooling, the leaching rate of rare earth increases from 97.00 pct to 99.48 pct. After being filtered, filtrate can be used to produce rare-earth chloride. Leached residue, with CaF2 of 64.45 pct and ThO2 of 0.05 pct, can be used to recover CaF2 and extract nuclear source material.

Manuscript submitted August 13, 2012.