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A Detailed Explanation of Ore Washing Process

Ore washing is an indispensable link in the whole ore process flow. Ore washing is a process of using hydraulic or mechanical force to scrub the ores stuck to clay or containing mud and scatter them, so that the fine mud on the ore surface is washed away and separated. This paper will give a detail introduction to the ore washing process.

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Ore washing mainly refers to the material separation process according to viscosity. The whole process generally includes the two steps of scattering and separation. Scattering means crushing and dispersing the argillaceous materials by the soak, impact and stir of water; separation is to separate the argillaceous fine particles and slurry floating in the water and coarse materials with the help of water flow. For some materials, scattering and separation occur separately; but for most materials, scattering and separation occur at the same time. The production of coarse and fine materials or slurry by the two steps can be called ore washing.

Ore washing is mainly used for the preparation operation of ore beneficiation, and it often happens before ore dressing (including picking and photoelectric separation), crushing, re-election (including heavy media separation), magnetic separation and flotation operation. It aims to eliminate the influence and harm to these processes brought by slurry and improve the process conditions to improve the working efficiency and obtaining good dressing indicators. For example, when processing alluvial tin, isolating the waste ore from coarse ore by ore washing, and dressing the fine materials through desliming can reduce the handling capacity. Tungsten ore exploited from the underground constitutes little mud, but to make it easier to be recognized by picking or photoelectric dressing, ore washing is also often needed. As for some ores with much mud, primarily separating the ore mud from ore blocks can avoid the jams of crusher, screening machine, ore bin and other machines.

It must be stressed that the ore washing process uses lots of water and discharges plenty of waste water. Considering the operation of ore washing, the problems of sewage treatment ought to be considered at the same time; otherwise it will cause serious pollution to the environment.

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