Table of Contents
Physical Separation in Science and Engineering
Volume 13 (2004), Issue 3-4, Pages 141-152

Rapid Characterization of Magnetic Separator Feed Stocks in Titanium Minerals Processing

1CSIRO, QCAT, Puttenvale, 4069, Queensland, Australia
2The Julius Kruttschnitt Mineral Research Centre, University of Queensland, Indooroopilly 4068, Queensland, Australia

Received 11 October 2004; Accepted 17 October 2004

Copyright © 2004 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Magnetic separation is widely used in the processing of titanium minerals. The expected mineral recoveries are assessed by performing laboratory magnetic separations of representative samples to determine the distribution of magnetic components. This is an inherently slow process performed on relatively small samples. This paper describes the development of an inductance based device to rapidly determine the mass distribution of the magnetic properties of a titanium mineral sample. The system is best described as an hourglass with mineral flowing from a hopper through a small inductance coil. The impedance of the coil is proportional to the mean magnetic susceptibility of the number of particles within the coil. An algorithm has been developed to determine the percentage of the feed material at each level of magnetic susceptibility from this measurement. The results are identical to those determined using a laboratory magnetic separation, and are obtained in a fraction of the time. Accuracy of the device has been proven by simulation and by testing of plant samples and comparing the results using the new system with measurements made using a magnetic separator.