QCM’s pellet plant successfully improved its DR pellets reducibility by closing grinding circuits with hydro-classifiers

CIM Montreal 2003
Abstract Québec Cartier Mining’s pellet plant, located in Port-Cartier, Quebec, produces up to 8.6 million tons of iron ore pellets annually. Four different types are produced : three for blast furnace operations and one for direct reduction furnaces. The paper presents the scientific approach that led to the installation of new process equipments to improve the reducibility of direct reduction pellets (DR pellet). The findings, the equipment selection and some modifications carried out after the start-up are presented.

A good DR pellet has to meet strict chemical, physical and metallurgical specifications. An important metallurgical property is its ability to release oxygen when exposed to reducing gases. Considering that the market for DR pellets is expanding and being aware that reducibility is critical for our clients, a program to improve the latter was undertaken. Test work showed that one factor which has a negative effect on reducibility is the proportion of particles larger than 75 microns. Knowing that the best way to reduce the amount of coarse particles was to close our open grinding circuits, we began evaluating the most suitable classification equipment applicable to our process operations. We settled on hydro-classifiers based on their very sharp cut and their low operating costs.
Keywords: Hydroclassifier, Particle size, Pellet plant, Improvement Project, Reducibility, Direct Reduction Pellet, Classification, Grinding circuit
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