Separation of Fe and Mn from Manganiferous Iron Ores via Reductive Acid Leaching Followed by Magnetic Separation
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In this study, a process to separate manganese and iron from manganiferous iron ores by reductive acid leaching followed by magnetic separation was conceived and experimentally tested. In the leaching process, sulfuric acid was used as lixiviant and oxalic acid was used as reductant. The experimental results showed that the manganese and iron separation was optimum when the concentration of the sulfuric acid and oxalic acid were 0.75 M and 30 g/L, respectively, at a temperature of 80 degrees C, a solid/liquid ratio of 67 g/L, stirring speed of 400 rpm, and leaching duration of 60 min. Under this condition, 90.49% and 6.78% of Mn and Fe were dissolved, respectively, from the ore sample with a size fraction of - 106 mu m. It was determined that the leaching of manganese from the ores was a second-order reaction with an activation energy (E-a) of 53.38 kJ/mol. The leaching residues obtained under the optimum condition were subjected to high-intensity wet magnetic separation tests to recover the remaining iron content. This separation process produced a concentrate containing 56.20% Fe and 1.79% Mn with iron and manganese recoveries of 56.83% and 66.73%, respectively. A magnetic separation test from an unleached ore sample was also carried out as a benchmark. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time that a magnetic separation process was used to a residue obtained from reductive acid leaching of manganiferous iron ores to recover iron.