Optimization of the tantalum ore production by control the milling process
Document typeConference report
Rights accessOpen Access
Tantalum is a strategic metal with multiple applications in the new technologies. Tantalum deposits are scarce in EU. Thus, more efficient extracting processes are necessary to contribute to major European independency on these critical raw materials. Tantalum occurs mainly in pegmatites and leucogranite deposits and its placers. Europe does not produce tantalum; however, several deposits are susceptible of being exploited if technologies of processing are improved. This work is part of the Optimore Project which aims to develop modelling and control technologies, using advanced sensing and advanced industrial control by using artificial intelligence techniques, for the more efficient and flexible tantalum and tungsten processing from crushing to separation process. In this paper, a preliminary study of characterization of tantalum ores from leucogranite and alluvial deposits is presented to be used as a base for design the milling experiments to optimize the tantalum recovering during the processing. In the ore deposits tantalum appears in solid solution with niobium in complex oxides, which forms low grade aggregates which need to be processed by means of a separation process. Tantalum ores characterised here belong to alluvial placers of pegmatitic origin located in the Bolivian Amazon Craton and to leocogranites of Penuota, in Spain. Ta bearing minerals of the Bolivian placers are mainly from the columbite group minerals. In Penouta microlite is abundant and often it has a zoning characterised by a Nb-rich core followed by a Ta-rich rim of several cm in thickness.
CitationAlfonso, P. [et al.]. Optimization of the tantalum ore production by control the milling process. A: International Conference on Mining, Material and Metallurgical Engineering. "Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on Mining, Material and Metallurgical Engineering". Barcelona: 2015, p. 344-1-344-4.
- GREMS - Grup de Recerca en Mineria Sostenible - Ponències/Comunicacions de congressos 
- ERNMA - Enginyeria dels Recursos Naturals i Medi Ambient - Ponències/Comunicacions de congressos 
- SUMMLab - Laboratori de Mesura i Modelització de la Sostenibilitat - Ponències/Comunicacions de congressos 
- Departament d'Enginyeria Minera i Recursos Naturals (fins octubre 2015) - Ponències/Comunicacions de congressos 
- Departament de Física Aplicada (fins octubre 2015) - Ponències/Comunicacions de congressos 
- Departament de Màquines i Motors Tèrmics - Ponències/Comunicacions de congressos