Fine Mineral Agglomeration
Austpac has evaluated various methods of pelletizing fine minerals in an attempt to produce a marketable synthetic rutile derived from the very fine ilmenite at Austpac’s WIM150 mineral sand deposit at Horsham, Victoria. While this had been attempted by other groups, those agglomeration strategies required the addition of a binder that was deleterious to the final product. In 2006, Austpac’s engineers designed and built a novel fluid bed agglomerator to test samples of fine titanium minerals. These trials, which produced ideally sized “Hi-Ti” pellets, were very encouraging. The success of this technology could have significant implications for fine mineral deposits such as Austpac’s WIM150 deposit in the Murray Basin, and thus open up commercial possibilities for cooperation with other mineral sand and titanium feedstock producers.