CHEMICAL AND MINERALOGICAL CHARACTERIZATION OF ITAKPE IRON ORE MINE WASTES (TAILINGS)

O. O. Alabi, Y. Gbadamosi, A. T. Olatunji, O. O. Ola-Omole

Abstract


Samples of Itakpe Iron Ore waste dump (tailings) were collected using random sampling method from different locations at the tailings dump sites of National Iron Ore Mining Company (NIOMCO) in Itakpe, Kogi State, Nigeria and properly homogenized to give the head sample. The head sample was chemically analyzed using Energy Dispersive X-Ray Fluorescence Spectrometry (ED-XRFS). Mineralogical analysis was carried out using X-ray Diffraction and Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) coupled with Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy (SEM-EDX). The result showed that it contains 27.71 % Fe2O3, 70.1 % SiO2, and other trace compounds. The qualitative and quantitative XRD analysis of the crude revealed different mineral peaks of which 20.05% Fe2O3 and 68.41 % SiO2 are the major constituents of the ore matrix. SEM micrographs obtained revealed the interlocking nature of the minerals constituting the ore matrix. EDX analysis of regions within the ore matrix revealed the presence of C, O, Al, Si, Fe, Cu, Mg, P and K; such that silicon and iron are the major elemental constituents of the ore matrix while other elements exists in trace form. Therefore, the crude sample of Itakpe Iron Ore dumped tailings is a haematite rich mineral and has been found to be coarsely packed and interlocked with magnetite and silica with silica as major impurity. However, easy liberation was facilitated by communition due to the coarsely packed nature of ore matrix.


Keywords: Dump Tailings, Itakpe, Iron-ore, Characterization


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