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Mineralogical Characterization of Heavy Mineral Concentrates from Senegalese Great Cost by Using Qemscan and SEM

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Document pages: 18 pages

Abstract: The heavy mineral sands of Senegal are exploited toextract titanium oxides and zircon. Mining is carried out first by means of afloating dredge and concentration plant which produces a heavy mineral concentrate (HMC) containing onaverage 78 titanium oxides, 11 zircon and a set of silicate and alumino-silicateminerals. This heavy mineral concentrate is then treated by gravity, magneticand electrostatic separation to produce titanium oxide concentrates (ilmenite,leucoxene, rutile) and three varieties of zircon concentrates (Premium zircon,standard zircon and medium grade zircon standard). In this study, we describethe various mineral concentrates in terms of mineralogical assemblages, andtextural variability within grains, using Qemscan and Scanning Electron Microscopy.The titanium oxide concentrates are differentiated by their TiO2 content and vary from ilmenite to rutile. The zircon concentrates arecharacterized by the presence of impurities in the zircons, which consist innumerous inclusions of titanium oxides and silicate minerals. The mineralogicalcharacteristics determined by scanning electron microscopy and by Qemscanshowed great variability within the grains themselves. Heavy minerals containmany mineral inclusions and show strong chemical zoning.

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