IOC’s best practice in improving pellet quality and its focus on concentrate expansion

CIM Montreal 2011
Jim Thompson,
Abstract The Iron Ore Company of Canada (IOC), a member of the Rio Tinto Group, is a very well established supplier in the market for pellets and concentrate. In a continuous effort to improve quality, the focus has been more and more on the production of acid pellets with very consistent quality. Sizing is in this respect an important feature, and a recently installed double deck roller screen at one of the induration machines has, in combination with closer attention to screening, delivered improvements. More fines are eliminated, and more of the pellets fall within the optimum size range for the blast furnace of 9.5 mm to 12.5 mm. This not only improves yield, but also contributes to a better furnace burden permeability. A relatively higher strength and improved reducibility is also attained by strictly controlling the size distribution.
Following the trend to lower blast furnace slag volumes, the low silica acid pellet with only 1.8% silica is attracting more attention. Its production is enabled through improvements in the flotation circuit and eliminating operational bottle necks, such as in the cake filtering process.
Furthermore, IOC’s mine expansion will deliver 4 mtpa more concentrate with a consistent quality suitable for the sintering process. The balance has to be found for this concentrate between its extremely low phosphorous level and its sintering properties. Sizing and magnetite oxidation are seen as key elements in influencing its sintering properties. Through a long term improvement project, concentrate and pellet quality is continuously assessed through close cooperation with customers.
Full Access to Technical Paper
PDF version for $20.00
Other papers from CIM Montreal 2011