Non-Bauxite Sources of Alumina: A Survey of Canadian Potential

Abstract Bauxite has been the almost universal ore of aluminum for about 100 years, with most of the world's reserves occurring in the developing countries. As a result of fiscal and political activities prompted in part by the energy crisis, the formation of the IBA combined with increasing freight and labour costs, these reserves are no longer as competitive or as secure as they once were. This has given fresh impetus to the development of processes for alumina production that utilize raw material other than bauxite. Canada has no bauxite and_ it is prudent to look for alternative raw materials within our own boundaries suitable for one of these processes.
Of the three igneous rocks that have been used as a source of alumina, only anorthosite is considered as a potential source in Canada. The Al content would be extracted by a sinter process, which currently requires a raw material with a minimum of 28% A120S. Thus, about U tons of anorthosite and 10 to 12 tons of limestone are needed to produce one ton of alumina. There are two petro-logically distinct types of anorthosite, one containing the plagioclase andesine-labradorite and around 26% Al,,O3 and the other containing upwards of 30% A12O3 in by-townite-anorthite; for our purposes they_ may be considered as low- and high-alumina anorthosite respectively. The high-alumina anorthosites are somewhat rare; the low-alumina anorthosites are much more common, particularly in Eastern Canada. Geologically speaking, there is no shortage of anorthosite in Canada. The reserves are immense, although their low A12O3 content coupled with considerations of location, access and proximity to limestone could be constraints to their development. Fly ash from coal-fired thermal power stations and nepheline syenite can also be used in a sinter process, but neither is likely to be utilized in Canada in the immediate future.
The H+ process utilizes an acid attack to leach Al from a raw material with at least 20% A1203. One of the best raw materials is kaolinite-bearing clay; not only is it high in Al, but most of it can be extracted. With the possible exception of the Whitemud clay in Saskatchewan, Canada is apparently deficient in clays with sufficient reserves to support an alumina plant utilizing the H+ process. Low-alumina clays with illite and montmorillonite may also prove to be a suitable raw material if advantageously sited with respect to industrial centers. The average shale contains only 15% Al^Os, much of which may be contained in minerals, such as feldspar, not amenable to acid leaching. If shale is used as a source of alumina, it will be because it contains some other valuable commodity, such as oil or uranium, the extraction of which leaves the spent shale upgraded in extractable A12OS and lowers the over-all costs to a point where it is economic. Thus, rejects from coal washing plants are -most commonly considered as a source of alumina; they are already mined, are available in large and ever increasing amounts, and may contain significant amounts of combustible material which upgrades the A1203 content of the resulting ash. Coal rejects from existing and developing coalfields in Alberta and British Columbia are a possible source of raw material, but present data indicate they may contain insufficient A12O3.
Keywords: Alumina, Anorthosite, Nepheline syenite, Phonolite, Clays, Shales, Coal rejects, Fly ash.
Full Access to Technical Paper
PDF version for $20.00
Search
Sort By:  Relevance
Showing results 1 - 9
Text
Summary: This paper reviews the physical properties that make low-density polyethylene the most practical and economical material for launder fabrication in the majority of mine and mill applications. The basic design features and use of other launder materials are also discussed.
Publication: CIM Bulletin
Author(s): M. A. Keogh
Keywords: Plastics, Launders, Mineral processing, Polyethylene, Flotation.
Issue: 774
Volume: 69
Year: 1976
Text
Summary: Energy requirements for various pelletizing systems are considered from a fuel and power aspect, with the presentation of typical energy heat balance flow sheets. A partial calculation for the firing zone of a straight grate system is shown and a comparison of an actual measured and a theoretical-calculated heat balance for a grate-kiln is presented. The power used for each pelletizing system and future possible energy savings are also reviewed.
Publication: CIM Bulletin
Author(s): Melvin J. Greaves, S. S. Sephton, Kirit C. Vyas
Keywords: Iron ore, Energy, Pelletizing, Mineral processing, Fuel, Power, Heat balances, Shaft furnaces, Traveling grates, Grate-Kiln system.
Issue: 774
Volume: 69
Year: 1976
Text
Summary: This paper provides guidelines for analyzing and selecting electric power demand controllers*. Error calculations, load selections and timing criteria are identified as the three key functions which affect the suitability of a demand controller for any particular application. The advantages of simulating the demand control application on a computer are described, and applications of a demand controller to an iron ore concentrator and a copper refinery are shown. Finally, the paper studies the...
Publication: CIM Bulletin
Author(s): Richard Q. Fox, Joe L. Pinson
Keywords: Electricity, Computers, Instrumentation, Control processes, Demand controllers, Simulation.
Issue: 774
Volume: 69
Year: 1976
Text
Summary: This paper tells the story of a serious mine fire on a mechanized long-wall face in a submarine coal mine at Glace Bay, Nova Scotia. The story gives, in chronological order, a technical account of the steps taken to investigate, fight and contain the fire. The time during which the events took place spans from June 19 to November 7, 1975.
Publication: CIM Bulletin
Author(s): W. LeBlanc, J. Phalen
Keywords: Coal mining, Mine safety, Glace Bay collieries, Devco, Underground fires, Fire fighting.
Issue: 774
Volume: 69
Year: 1976
Text
Summary: International trade in minerals plays a very important role in the economic growth of many nations. Several less developed countries are heavily dependent on their mineral exports for earning foreign exchange, which is needed for industrialization. Mineral exporting nations experience many problems in international mineral markets; the most important are tariff barriers, deteriorating terms of trade, instability in metal prices, etc. The formation of international mineral cartels to raise...
Publication: CIM Bulletin
Author(s): M. Sengupta
Issue: 774
Volume: 69
Year: 1976
Text
Summary: The Iron Ore Company of Canada constructed a beneficiation complex in Sept-Iles, Quebec, to concentrate and pelletize earthy red hematite iron ores from the Knob Lake area. The plants were scheduled for initial production during the first quarter of 1973.
Many problems have been experienced to date. Difficulties in controlling the process, excessive mechanical failures, design deficiencies and manpower-staffing problems have caused an extended start-up.
The problems are now essentially solved...
Publication: CIM Bulletin
Author(s): C. H. Sleeman
Keywords: Iron Ore Company of Canada, Beneficiation, Sept-Iles, Concentrating, Pelletizing, Indurating, Balling.
Issue: 774
Volume: 69
Year: 1976
Text
Summary: A new solvent extraction process for the separation of cobalt, copper and zinc from nickel sulphate process streams has been developed. It involves selective extraction of these elements with a quaternary ammonium thiocyanate dissolved in an aromatic diluent. The chemical principles of this process have been investigated and are described, together with background physico-chemical data relating to the use of this solvent. Long-term, testing in a continuous "mini-plant" circuit gave high-purit...
Publication: CIM Bulletin
Author(s): C. E. O'Neill, V. A. Ettel, A. J. Oliver, I. J. Itzkovitch
Keywords: Hydrometallurgy, Solvent extraction, Cobalt, Copper, Zinc, Nickel sulphates, Effluent treatment.
Issue: 774
Volume: 69
Year: 1976
Text
Summary: Because of the elements of uncertainty and instability associated with single-enterprise communities, there is increasing interest in the alternatives to developing additional new communities of this nature.
Gulf Minerals Canada Limited has chosen a unique alternative means to accommodate employees at a new uranium mine/mill complex at Rabbit Lake in Northern Saskatchewan. Gulf has adopted a fly-in program which moves their staff from a 450 mile radius, in and out of the on-site facilities,...
Publication: CIM Bulletin
Author(s): F. R. Nogas
Keywords: Manpower, Rabbit Lake, Gulf Minerals Canada Limited, Transportation, Commuting.
Issue: 774
Volume: 69
Year: 1976
Text
Summary: Auriferous quartz veins occupy zones of dilation. Fold-generated dilation zones are systematically distributed and are dependent upon the folding mechanism. Comparison of natural and theoretical folds indicates that different mechanisms operated in the Halifax and Goldenville formations.
In the slates of the Halifax Formation, the folds are of similar type and internal strain is most intense in the limbs. This internal strain is probably accommodated with little or no dilation.
In the...
Publication: CIM Bulletin
Author(s): J. Duncan Keppie
Keywords: Structural geology, Gold veins, Meguma Group, Vein mineralization, Halifax Formation, Goldenville Formation, Folding, Dilation zones, Curvature Index.
Issue: 774
Volume: 69
Year: 1976
Powered by Coveo Enterprise Search