The presented study is devoted to a comparative review of the mineral raw material base of platinum group metals (PGMs) and technologies of their processing in South Africa and Russia, the largest PGM producers. Mineralogical and geochemical classification and industrial value of iron-platinum and platinum-bearing deposits are presented in this work. The paper also reviews types of PGM ore body occurrences, ore processing methods (with a special focus on flotation processes), as well as difficulties encountered by enterprises at the processing stage, as they increase recovery of the valuable components. Data on mineralogical features of PGM deposits, including the distribution of elements in the ores, are provided. The main lines of research on mineralogical features and processing of raw materials of various genesis are identified and validated. Sulfide deposits are found to be of the highest industrial value in both countries. Such unconventional PGM sources, as black shale, dunites, chromite, low-sulfide, chromium and titanomagnetite ores, anthropogenic raw materials, etc. are considered. The main lines of research that would bring into processing non-conventional metal sources are substantiated. Analysis of new processing and metallurgical methods of PGM recovery from non-conventional and industrial raw materials is conducted; the review of existing processing technologies for platinum-bearing raw materials is carried out. Technologies that utilize modern equipment for ultrafine grinding are considered, as well as existing reagents for flotation recovery; evaluation of their selectivity in relation to platinum minerals is presented. Basing on the analysis of main technological processes of PGM ore treatment, the most efficient schemes are identified, i.e.,gravity and flotation treatment with subsequent metallurgical processing.
The results of mineralogical, geochemical and technological research of black shale rocks are given. It is proved that black shales are now regarded as a new promising and innovative source of precious and rare-metal raw materials. It is pointed out that 3 wt. % of black shales samples is colloid-salt fraction (nanofraction) with a particle size less than 1000 nm and it can be extracted with water under specially chosen conditions. The use of water instead of chemically active reagents guarantees the absence of dissolved mineral matrix and clearly shows the colloidal salt component in samples. The results determine the direction of creating some new methods and technologies of carbonaceous feed dressing for integrated development of solid minerals in the mining and oil producing regions of Russia.
Mathematical statistics techniques and the data from laboratory mineral and technological studies of samples were used to identify the most common natural and technological associations of microelements in carbonaceous rocks which could be of industrial value if extracted in the form of commercial products. The discovered structures of spheroidal and ring ferrocarbonaceous clusters are respective formations of the class of metal fullerens with expressed magnetic properties. Such clusters may serve as construction blocks for new magnetic structures since each of them is a separate magnetic domain. Extracting such structures and their practical use opens the way to future technologies. It is expected to employ such results in the future in the course of designing new techniques and technologies for benefication of carbonaceous raw materials while developing comprehensively solid mineral resources in the mining industry regions of Russia.
The study characterizes the role of coal in the fuel and energy balance of the Far East Region and points out the issue of losses of coal fines in the processes of coal mining, transportation and processing. To solve the problem of losses of coal fines, the mined coal is sorted into different size classes and fuel briquettes are produced from coal fines. Physical foundations are presented in short of briquetting solid combustible mineral resources. The dependences and variations of briquette compression strength limit are studied vs. charge humidity and briquetting pressure. Optimal parameters are retrieved for briquetting coal fines. The principal technological scheme is given of the process of briquette production. The developed technological solutions include sorting regular coal and briquetting coal fines, as well as the involvement of technogenic carbon-containing wastes from the hydrolysis production lines, plus residuals from oil refining.