2011 – Wet & Sticky Ore Conference 2011, Perth, WA
Clay minerals can cause nightmares with Mineral Processing because of the inherent
difficulties of processing high clay ores. These clay minerals typically form in near surface
geological environments due to weathering, particularly above the natural water table,
sedimentation and diagenesis and are common in hydrothermally altered rocks. Clay minerals
associated with alteration is referred to as Argillic alteration. The extremely small particle
size, usually <2 microns (sometimes coarser or finer) and with the very high surface area
these clay minerals are highly reactive and respond to changes in the processing environment.