Recovery of titanium from beach sand by physical separation

W.A.P.J. Premaratne* and N.A. Rowson

Department of Chemical Engineering, The University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TT, UK

Received 19 June 2003; accepted 15 July 2004


Extensive experimentation has been carried out in order to optimise the application of various separators, namely magnetic, electrostatic and gravity separators, to the beneficiation of titanium bearing minerals from the beach sand deposits of Sri Lanka. An improved flowsheet was established for the recovery of titanium bearing minerals from the deposit, producing commercial grade ilmenite concentrates (up to 63.7% TiO2) and rutile grade concentrates (up to 93.4% TiO2). It was found that, for fine particles, the titanium grade increased greatly when titanium-bearing minerals were separated from the deposit by a Knelson concentrator. The result of the mineralogical and chemical analysis studies for the beach sand deposit revealed that, more than 99% of titanium content of the deposit was contained in the particle size less than 355 microns. 

Keywords: Titanium; Recovery; Beach sand; Physical separation

* Corresponding author
   E-mail : WAP087@bham.ac.uk