First low-grade hematite iron ore processing plant launched

Iran’s first low-grade hematite iron ore processing plant was put into operation. Enjoying 100% Iranian technology, the tests were undertaken in Fakoor Sanat Tehran, a metallurgy mineral processing research center.
Launched in the adjacency of Jalal-Abad Mine, the iron ore concentrate plant has a production capacity of 600,000t per annum.
2.2mt hematite iron ore (32% grade) is the annual input of the plant while its output is 66.5% feed pellet concentrate.
During the mine’s operations, 12mt low-grade hematite iron ore has been piled unused. Less than two years ago, IMIDRO, as the owner of the mine, put the ore up for an auction and FST was picked up as the winner.
Concurrently, FST made an investment to process low-grade hematite iron ore, which was previously considered as a waste.

Vice President of FST in technology sector, Majid Saghaeian, said the grade of piled mineral was 32% and had to be processed by a new technology.
«As Iran’s iron ore mines are mainly magnetite with an average grade of 50%, not much attention has been paid to hematite iron ores. However, by the continuation of mining, the amount of low-grade hematite iron ore will increase. On the other hand, the growing demand of iron ore concentrate in steel development plan makes the use of new technologies inevitable,» he added.
According to him, more than 90% of the world steel is   produced using blast furnaces, but due to abundant natural gas, Direct Reduction Method is more commonly applied in Iran.
Commenting on the implementation process of the project, he said: «The project was put into operation in 20 months. In spite of the fact that the major equipment for wet and dry crushing was supplied by Germany and China, designing and engineering operations were undertaken by Fakoor Sanat Tehran. The technical knowledge of the plan is acquired by the company.»
Reduction of water consumption, as well as impurities such as sulfur, phosphorus and silica in the produced concentrate are the key characteristics of the plant. Another major feature is that the output is 66.5% grade feed pellet.
The sample test was conducted in Fakoor Sanat Processing Research Center using High Pressures Grinding Rolls (HPGR).
Vice President of FST in technology sector also explained that the iron ore beneficiation is carried out via High Gradient Medium Intensity Magnetic Separation.
He emphasized that the use of DRI in Iran, low ratio of extraction compared to the mine capacity and insufficient production of concentrate to feed new steel projects and plants have caused a greater need to use new technologies for producing and processing iron ore in Iran.