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Flotation of Bastnaesite Ore Using Novel Collectors

by Dylan Everly, C. Anderson, Santa Jansone-popova, Vyacheslav Bryantsev, Bruce A Moyer
Publication Type
Conference Paper
Book Title
Proceedings of the 59th Conference of Metallurgists, COM 2020: The Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum.
Publication Date
Page Numbers
1 to 11
Conference Name
The 59th Conference of Metallurgists Hosting Uranium 2020
Conference Location
Virtual, Tennessee, United States of America
Conference Sponsor
The Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum
Conference Date

Interest in rare earth elements (REEs) has increased due to their distinct properties and new applications. China currently has a monopoly on rare earth production due to the lack of an economically viable process used outside of China. Bastnaesite, a rare earth fluorocarbonate, is one of the most common minerals containing REEs, which is mostly comprised of cerium and other light REEs. The objective of this research is to find a novel collector for the beneficiation of bastnaesite through froth flotation experiments to increase the grade and recovery of rare earth oxides while rejecting the major gangue minerals. Microflotation and rougher bench flotation studies were evaluated to find optimal collector(s) from 19 possible candidates. Collector 2, 5, and 8 were the top performing collectors chosen from microflotation experiments. A design of experiment matrix was set up to evaluate the variables, variable interactions and provide a reverence matrix for future optimization studies. Collector 2 was assessed to be the optimal collector. A rougher flotation experiment produced a rare earth oxide grade and recovery of 41% and 78% respectively and a 91.5% rejection of calcite. Collector 8 and 14 also showed promising results in replace fatty acid.