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Wet High Intensity Magnetic Separation (WHIMS) of Algerian Kaolin: a Potential Application


The aim of this research is the study of the WHIMS parameters on the improving process of a local (DD: Djebel Debbagh, East of Algeria) kaolin. The obtained results of performed XRF, SEM, and XRD characterization showed that this local material is an alumino-silicate containing kaolinite and halloysite with MnO and Fe2O3 impurities (respectively 39.30% and 34.67% alumina and 38.18% and 39.70% silica in both samples (DD2 and DD3). After homogenization, crushing, and milling, a multiparameters factorial experimentation (grain sizes, intensity, and dimension of matrix balls) showed that WHIMS is an effective process to improve the quality of this kaolin, mainly: removing their impurities. Dimensions of matrix balls (Db) = 2 cm, intensity of the applied magnetic field (I) = 1.5 T, and grain sizes (Dp) =  > 100 < 250 µm) are the optimal values to reach 91.06% for manganese and 93.45% for iron as removing yield. The statistical analysis of these results sorted the investigation parameters and showed that Db has the highest and most significant influence on the recovery of iron and manganese particles. The magnetic field intensity (I) has a less important influence while the grain size has an average influence (positive on the iron recovery but a negative one on the recovery of manganese).

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Authors would like to express their truthful thanks to Dr. Francisco Javier Iglesias Rodríguez and Prof. Jesus Garcia-Iglesias, from the School of Mining, Energy and Materials Engineering at University of Oviedo for access to laboratory and their helps in all characterization works. We also thank Jennire Vanessa Nava Rosario and Dorliana Lopez Ortiz for their assistance in mechanical ore preparation.

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Correspondence to Mohammed Laraba.

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Laraba, M., Abdelmalek, R., Menendez-Aguado, J.M. et al. Wet High Intensity Magnetic Separation (WHIMS) of Algerian Kaolin: a Potential Application. Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration 39, 1693–1703 (2022).

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