New approach for the ores add-value. Case study: the physical beneficiation of white sand in El-Harra area, Bahariya Oasis, Western Desert, Egypt
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Nuclear Materials Authority
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Mona Mohamed Fawzy   

Nuclear Materials Authority
Mining Science 2023;30:183-208
Integration of the remote sensing techniques including the thermal emission and reflection radiometer (ASTER) thermal infrared (TIR) data, and the silica index (SI) algorithms have enabled the discovery of a previously unknown white sand deposit in the El-Harra region of the Bahariya Oasis. Characterization of El-Harra sand was achieved using the binocular microscope, X-Ray Diffraction , X-Ray Fluorescence and Scanning Electron Microscopy . The sample was beneficiated using attrition scrubbing, gravity and magnetic separation. The chemical and size analysis before and after physical treatment pointed to clear enhancing in both the chemical and size specifications, where the oxide ratios of SiO2, Al2O3, Fe2O3 and CaO moved from 96.87, 0.82, 0.13 and 1.27% to 99.53, 0.05, 0.05 and 0.13% respectively. On the other hand, the ratio of grain size (- 0.5/ + 0.125 mm) was raised from 79.48% to 82.04% from the total sample weight. Comparing these data with their corresponding in both British and American Standard Specifications of White Sand confirmed the validity of the physical beneficiation in raising the grade from low valuable ore to the globally highest one which means higher marketing prices and availability to use the treated white sand in a wide spectrum of technological applications. Furthermore, the heavy minerals content and species is another add value, where their content was assigned as 0.3 mass% from the head sample including ilmenite, rutile, zircon, leucoxene and green silicates. This simply means each 1000 tons of beneficiated white sand yield 3 tons of the heavy minerals.
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