Assessment of Iron Ore Mining Gangues in Itakpe for Secondary Recovery of other Metal Values
Due to rapid industrialization, the demand for heavy metals is ever increasing, but the reserves of high-grade ores are diminishing. Therefore there is a need to explore alternative sources of heavy metals. Ore mine gangues which are industrial wastes can act as potential sources of industrial materials. Typical iron ore minerals may contain antimony, arsenic, beryllium, cadmium, chromium, copper, lead, nickel, as well as silver and zinc . The economic viability of these metals would depend on their various amounts in the iron ore. The analysis of the Itakpe iron ore in Nigeria would determine whether the associated metals are commercially feasible for secondary recovery. Due to these afore mentioned problems, the research was carried out using EDX - XRF and XRD, analyzing five different samples which include coarse iron ore, middle fine iron ore, fine iron ore, gangue iron ore and concentrate iron ore. The sample analysis shows that Itakpe iron ore is hematite-rich with atomic % of Fe to be 40.00 and weight % to be 69.94. The EDX results showed the presence of iron peak of varying intensity which was observed to have the concentrate with the highest peak of 37500 and the gangue with the least peak of 11200. Also, the presence of silicon peak of varying intensity was observed with the gangue having the highest intensity of 7000 while the concentrated iron ore and coarse iron ore has a negligible intensity. The varying intensity of cobalt in the 5 sample cannot be neglected as the concentrate iron ore has the highest intensity of 5000 and the gangue has the lowest intensity of 1500. The XRF was used for the elemental analyses which showed high percentage of iron element ranging from 34.60% for GIO, 51.59% for MfIO, 53.80% for FIO, 56.34% for CIO, and 64.51% for CoIO. Also, the samples contain some percentage of Silica ranging from 0.36% for CIO, 1.63% for CoIO, 11.60% for FIO, 12.53% for MfIO and 22.97% for GIO. This really shows that the iron and the silicon can still be recovered from the gangue. Also, the XRD was used for the structural analysis of the unprocessed iron ore, middle fine iron ore, concentrate iron ore and the gangue iron ore samples in which the spectral of the unprocessed iron ore was observed to have many peaks when compared with the spectrum of other samples, this is attributed to high concentration of impurities.