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MDMW-Iron47 | Iron Ore | Sintering

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CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization) is continuing to assist the iron ore industry during this period of growth, providing a unique range of expertise extending from detailed mineralogical, beneficiation and agglomeration evaluations of new and existing ore types and deposits to predicting and optimizing the processing performance of sinter, pellets and lump in blast furnaces and other downstream processes.
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  60   Mineral Processing Technology (MPT 2007) Iron Ore Processing Research by CSIRO Ralph J. Holmes CSIRO Minerals, Queensland, Australia ABSTRACT: The Australian iron ore industry is experiencing an unprecedented period of growthat present, largely driven by demand for raw materials from the Chinese iron and steel industry. Itis predicted that Australian iron ore production will increase from 246 million tonnes per annum in2005 to over 400 million tonnes in 2008. In response to this demand, Australian iron orecompanies are developing a wide range of new ore deposits both to expand production and replacethe traditional high grade resources that are slowly being depleted. CSIRO (CommonwealthScientific and Industrial Research Organization) is continuing to assist the iron ore industry duringthis period of growth, providing a unique range of expertise extending from detailedmineralogical, beneficiation and agglomeration evaluations of new and existing ore types anddeposits to predicting and optimizing the processing performance of sinter, pellets and lump in blast furnaces and other downstream processes.A key focus of CSIRO research at present is the automation of ore characterization and prediction of downstream processing performance by linking ore mineralogy and petrology to metallurgical performance, e.g., beneficiation and sintering properties. Optical microscopy/computer-based imageanalysis of iron ore particles down to less that 10 µm has been perfected and is being linked tomineralogy-based models of a range of unit operations, such as hydrocycloning, magnetic separationand reverse flotation. This will ultimately enable more rapid assessment of processing options and thelikely viability of new ore deposits.Development of more effective beneficiation strategies is becoming a higher priority as lower gradeiron ore resources, such as Marra Mamba, high-phosphorus Brockman and Channel Iron Deposits, are being exploited to meet market demand. A range of new approaches is currently under consideration,including dry separation, jig-WHIMS magnetic separation and microbial induced flotation of alumina.The sintering research conducted by CSIRO continues to be pivotal to proving up new Australian ironore resources for export. At the fundamental level, laboratory scale research is being conducted tounderstand and minimize the effect of increasing alumina and goethite in Australian ores. Thegranulation characteristics of iron ores are also being investigated, with a particular focus on theinteraction of size distribution and ore mineralogy, to better understand the impact of granulation onsintering behavior. In addition, CSIRO’s state-of-the-art pilot-scale sinter rig (~80-100 kg samples) has been upgraded to accommodate sinter bed depths of up to 860 mm and facilitate research on deep bedsintering. Finally, the potential environmental benefits of replacing coke breeze with wood charcoal for iron ore sintering has been investigated with promising results. Results to date show that substantialreductions in SO X and NO X emissions can be achieved while maintaining sinter productivity, althoughat the expense of a small drop in sinter strength.In the iron ore pelletising area, the Siro-Indur computer-based simulator developed by CSIRO is beingused for optimisation of straight-grate and grate-kiln pellet induration. Outputs include specific fuel andfan power consumption, mass and enthalpy balances, bed (grate furnace and cooler) and kiln profiles(pellet and gas temperatures, pellet composition), heat loss and leakage tables, section flow rates and pressure drops, drying and condensation rates, fan performance, and stream information (flow rate,  61   Mineral Processing Technology (MPT 2007) composition, temperature, pressure and enthalpy). It has already been applied in Australia and NorthAmerica to both grate-kiln and straight-grate pellet indurators, and there are potential applications inother countries, such as Brazil, India and China.CSIRO continues to play a leading role in the development of International Standards (ISO) for sampling, analysis and physical testing of iron ores. A major thrust is the development of improvedmethods for determination of hygroscopic moisture and improved XRF methods for determination of iron and trace elements, including Cl and Na.
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