Preparation of Iron Ore Micro-pellets and Their Effect on Sinter Bed Permeability
At present around 6–7% of iron ore slimes, out of total production, are being generated and accumulated at iron ore mine sites of National Mineral Development Corporation Limited, India. The accumulated slimes of finer size and relatively inferior grade should be utilized in an economical way for sustainable mining. These slimes can be agglomerated into micro-pellets for subsequent use in sinter making through hybrid pellet sintering method. However, the micro-pellets of sufficient size and strength are required for hybrid sinter making. The green properties of the micro-pellets depend upon various parameters such as surface area, moisture, binder, etc. In this study, iron ore slimes were beneficiated through gravity, and magnetic separation and concentrate of grade 65% Fe (Total) was obtained. Since the concentrate obtained had low surface area (700–900 cm2/grams) rendering it unsuitable for micro-pellet making, it was further subjected to grinding in a ball mill. The requirement of surface area for producing an optimum quality of green micro-pellets was established. The resultant micro-pellets were further used in studying sinter bed properties. The effect of moisture and size of micro-pellets on permeability of sinter bed were examined. The results confirmed that the addition of micro-pellets to the sinter mix improved the permeability of the sinter bed. The sinter bed with highest permeability of JPU 25.25 and void fraction of 36.27% was achieved with micro-pellets of size 3–6 mm at 7% moisture level. Mean granule size of sinter mix was also studied with respect to moisture content and size of the micro-pellets.
KeywordsIron ore slimes Micro-pellets Saturation Sinter bed Permeability Void fraction
Authors are thankful to the management of NMDC Ltd., Hyderabad for giving permission to work at R&D Centre, NMDC Ltd. The support and services rendered by colleagues at Agglomeration Department, R&D Centre, NMDC Ltd. are also duly acknowledged.
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