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Geometallurgy of ironsand from the Waikato North Head deposit, New Zealand

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Abstract

The Waikato North Head deposit produces a magnetic mineral concentrate from Quaternary sands that formed in a coastal setting in the North Island of New Zealand. Detailed examination of the magnetic mineral fraction of the different stratigraphic horizons mined at Waikato North Head shows that the youngest units yield concentrates with significant concentrations of gangue minerals that are included as composite grains, inclusions in titanomagnetite, and as gangue grains with titanomagnetite inclusions. The most abundant gangue minerals in the magnetic fractions of all mined units are pyroxene and amphibole; feldspar, quartz, and biotite are less abundant. The magnetic minerals, which are predominantly titanomagnetite, are used as feed for the Iron Plant in New Zealand Steel’s Glenbrook Steel Mill. From time to time, excessive accretion formation impacts the operation of the rotary reduction kilns of the Iron Plant. Olivine group minerals are the most common silicate phase in these accretions, and we hypothesise that the silicon and magnesium in these minerals are derived from the gangue minerals that are included in the magnetic mineral concentrate from the ironsands. Although various remediation processes are possible, the simplest and most cost effective would appear to be ensuring adequate blending of material from different stratigraphic units, particularly when the youngest strata are being mined in the deposit.

Additional publication details

Publication type Book chapter
Publication Subtype Book Chapter
Title Geometallurgy of ironsand from the Waikato North Head deposit, New Zealand
Year Published 2016
Language English
Publisher The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Contributing office(s) Central Mineral and Environmental Resources Science Center
Description 8 p.
Larger Work Type Book
Larger Work Subtype Monograph
Larger Work Title AusIMM Monograph 31: Mineral Deposits of New Zealand—Exploration and Research
First page 435
Last page 442