Assessment Of Beneficiation Routes Of Tantalite Ores From Key Locations In Nigeria

DOI: 10.4236/jmmce.2005.42008   PDF   HTML     6,184 Downloads   7,646 Views   Citations


The beneficiation methods for some tantalite ores from selected deposits in Nigeria have been assessed through mineralogical and compositional analyses of the ores. Tantalite ores obtained from eight different well-known locations of the mineral in the country were analyzed with 109Cd excitation source Energy Dispersive X-ray spectrometry using the emission-transmission method of quantification. The major minerals detected and quantified include TiO2, MnO, Fe2O3, Ta2O5, Nb2O5, WO3, Th and U. Impurity elements such as Hf, Zn, Zr, Co, Pb, Rb, and Y were also observed and evaluated. Our analyses further show that Ta2O5 in the ores ranged from a minimum concentration of about 8% in Otu to about 60% in the Egbe deposits, while the Nb2O5 concentrations in the ores ranged from about 20% to 37.5% with the highest coming from the Ofiki deposit. Based on these results and the work of other authors, we deduced that clean-up operations might be adequate for Ta extraction from most of the tantalite deposits in Nigeria. The consideration of simplicity and cost of process favours the direct dissolution of the ores in HF for the clean-up operations.

Share and Cite:

A. Adetunji, W. Siyanbola, I. Funtua, S. Olusunle, A. Afonja and O. Adewoye, "Assessment Of Beneficiation Routes Of Tantalite Ores From Key Locations In Nigeria," Journal of Minerals and Materials Characterization and Engineering, Vol. 4 No. 2, 2005, pp. 85-93. doi: 10.4236/jmmce.2005.42008.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] Aliyu, A.; 1996; Potentials of the Solid Minerals Industry in Nigeria; Raw Materials Research and Development Council, Abuja, Nigeria.
[2] Miller, G. L.; 1959; Tantalum and Niobium; Butterworths Scientific Publications, London; p12.
[3] Kock, W. and Paschen, P.; 1989; “Tantalum – Processing, Properties and Applications”; JOM 10, pp33-39.
[4] Okunlola, O. A.; 1999; “Specialty Metal Potentials of Nigeria”; Proceedings of the First Mining in Nigeria Conference and Workshop; pp67-90.
[5] Saint Simon de, P.; 1999; “Specialty Metals in Nigeria: Potential for World Class Deposit; Second “Mining in Nigeria” Conference, Abuja, Nigeria; p15.
[6] Ministry of Solid Minerals Development; 2003; “Tantalite and the Rare Earth Metals”.
[7] Cunningham, L. D.; 2005; “Tantalum”; USGS Mineral commodity Summaries; pp166-167.
[8] Burt, R. O.; 1984; “Gravity Concentration Technology”; Elsevier Science BV, Amsterdam, p607.
[9] Wills, B. A.: 1992; “Mineral Processing Technology”, 5th Ed.; Pergamon Press, p408.
[10] Burt, R.; 1996; “Beneficiation of Tantalum Ore – How it is Achieved and Could it be Better?”; Proceedings of 125th TMS Annual Meeting and Exhibition; Anaheim, CA. 17-22
[11] Funtua, I. I.; 1999a; “Analysis of Nb-Ta ores by Energy Dispersive X-ray Fluorescence Spectrometry”. J. Trace Microprobe Techniques, 17, 2 (1999a), pp89-195.
[12] Obiajunwa, E. I.; 2001; “Analysis of some Nigerian solid mineral ores by energydispersive X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy”. Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research B, 184, pp437-430.
[13] Markowicz, A. A; and Van Grieken, R. E.; 1993; “Quantification in XRF analysis of intermediate thickness samples”. In: Van Grieken and Markowicz (eds) Handbook of X-Ray Spectroscopy, Marcel Dekler Inc., New York, 339-358.
[14] Bernasconi, G. B; Bamford, S. A; Dosan, B; Haselberger, N; Markowicz, A; Mahmoud, A; and Valcovic, V.; 1996; “Applicability of annular source excited systems in quantitative XRF analysis”; X-ray Spectrom. 23, pp65-70.
[15] Leroux, J; and Mahmoud, M.; 1996; “X-ray quantitative analysis by an emissiontransmission method”; Anal. Chem., 38, pp76-82.
[16] Giauque, R. D; Garrett, R. B; and Goda, L. Y.; 1979; “Determination of trace elements in light element matrices by X-ray fluorescence with incoherent scattered radiation as an internal standard”; Anal. Chem. 51, pp512-516
[17] Markowicz, A. A.; 1979; “A method for correction for absorption matrix effects in samples of intermediate thickness in EDXRF analysis”; X-Ray Spectrom., 8, pp14-18.
[18] Tang, S. M; Kump, P; Yap, C. T; and Bilal, M. G.; 1986; “Calculation of relative fluorescence intensity for annular-source geometry by Monte Carlo method”; XRay Spectrom., 15, pp289-293.
[19] Angeyo, K. H; Patel, J. P; Mangala, J. M; and Naraya, D. G. S.; 1998; "Optimization of X-ray Fluorescence analysis: an example from Kenya” Appl. Radiat. Isot., 49, pp885-891.
[20] Funtua I. I.; 1999b; “Application of the transmission-emission method in EDXRF for the determination of trace elements in geological and biological materials”; J Trace Microprobe Techniques; 17, 3, pp293-297.
[21] Bernasconi, G. B.; 1996; “AXIL-QXAS”, Instruction Manual, IAEA, Vienna.
[22] Warde, J. M., Mee, V. A. and Spedden, H. R.; 1963; “Columbium and Tantalum Minerals, Ores, and Ore Preparation”; In: Columbium and Tantalum; Scisco, F. T. and Epremian, E. (eds.); John Wiley & Sons, p17
[23] Eckert, J; 1996; “The Industrial Application of Pyrometallurgical, Chlorination and Hydrometallurgy for Producing Tantalum Compounds”; Proceedings of 125th TMS Annual Meeting and Exhibition; Anaheim, CA. pp55-61.
[24] Siyanbola, W. O, Fasasi, A. Y, Funtua, I. I, Afolabi, O. M, Adesiyan, T. A and Adetunji, A. R.; 2004; “Elemental Composition of Rutile From South-Western Nigeria Using X-Ray Techniques”; Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research B 215, pp240-245.
[25] Adetunji, A. R, Siyanbola, W. O, Funtua, I. I, Afonja, A. A and Adewoye, O. O: 2004; “Energy Dispersive X-Ray Fluorescence Analysis of Tantalite Ores From Various Deposits in Nigeria”; In: Proceedings of the Nigerian Materials Congress (NIMACON) 2003; Eds: B. Babatope and W. O. Siyanbola; Materials Society of Nigeria; pp38-42.
[26] Gustion, R. A. and Pilloton, R. L.; 1963; “Extraction and Separation of Columbium and Tantalum”; In: Columbium and Tantalum; Scisco, F. T. and Epremian, E. (eds.); John Wiley & Sons, pp17.
[27] Simandl, G. J.; 2001; “Tantalum Market and Resources: An Overview”; Geological Fieldwork; British Columbia Geological Survey; paper 2002-1, pp313-318.
[28] Krismer, B. and Hoppe, A.; 1984; US Patent No 4446116
[29] Funtua, I. I, Ogunleye, P. O, Umar, I. M. and Elegba, S. B.; 1998; “Preliminary Studies on the Recovery of Uranium From Mika, Northeastern Nigeria”; Journal of Mining and Geology, vol 34, No 2, pp219-224

comments powered by Disqus

Copyright © 2020 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.