Valorization of mining waste from Ouenza iron ore mine (eastern Algeria)

Abstract The present article is devoted to the development of a hematite-poor ore mine in Ouenza, which does not meet the steelmaker's requirements. Significant volumes are stored at the pithead of the mine, and the reserves are estimated at over 100 million tones. This enormous quantity of mining waste occupies an important space and poses a real threat to the environment as well as for the mining city of Ouenza. In order to solve these socio-economic and environmental problems, a sustainable development and a better quality of life for inhabitants of this region is needed. For this, representative samples were taken at the level of the dumps. Taking into account the natural characteristics of the stock namely; mineralogical composition, iron content, particle size of the rock mass, as well as the release mesh of iron minerals from the gangue. Firstly, tests are conducted on the recovery by radiometric separation of iron-rich pieces and graded. Then the rest of the ore was subjected to mechanical preparation followed by enrichment, which will be the subject of another study. The research is conducted on samples to determine the optimal parameters of the g-rays absorption tested by radiometry; these parameters were the velocity of the conveyor belt and the time of exposure to g-rays. The obtained results by this valorization process are very significant: iron content 53.5% and 8.3% recovery.