University of Oulu

He Niu, Paivo Kinnunen, Harisankar Sreenivasan, Elijah Adesanya, Mirja Illikainen, Structural collapse in phlogopite mica-rich mine tailings induced by mechanochemical treatment and implications to alkali activation potential, Minerals Engineering, Volume 151, 2020, 106331, ISSN 0892-6875,

Structural collapse in phlogopite mica-rich mine tailings induced by mechanochemical treatment and implications to alkali activation potential

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Author: Niu, He1; Kinnunen, Päivö1; Sreenivasan, Harisankar1;
Organizations: 1Fibre and Particle Engineering Research Unit, University of Oulu, P.O. Box 4300, FI-90570, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 4 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Elsevier, 2020
Publish Date: 2020-06-15


The alkali activation of mine tailings is of interest to diminish the impoundment storage of large waste stream from mining industry. However, most of the mine tailings, like phosphate mine tailings generated in Finland, are rather inert and need pre-treatment to induce the reactivity for alkali activation. In this work, mechanochemical treatment was conducted to improve the reactivity of phosphate mine tailings. The ground specimens were subjected to the crystal structural analysis of X-Ray diffraction (XRD), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), and thermal analyses by Thermogravimetry/Differential Thermal Analysis (TG/DTA), showing the increment of amorphous content and structural degradation as a function of grinding time. The subsequent alkaline reactivity test illustrated incremental alkaline dissolution of Si, Al and K and a schematic diagram of altered phlogopite structure (sources of aluminosilicates in tailings) was also proposed. Additionally, the mineralogical composition of individual particles was carried out by mineral liberation analysis (MLA), thereby evaluating the influence of pre-treatment on the mineralogy of tailings. The results indicate profound micromorphological changes and structural cleavage of the precursor due to grinding, which strongly increase alkaline reactivity.

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Series: Minerals engineering
ISSN: 0892-6875
ISSN-E: 1872-9444
ISSN-L: 0892-6875
Volume: 151
Article number: 106331
DOI: 10.1016/j.mineng.2020.106331
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 216 Materials engineering
Funding: This work was supported by the Academy of Finland [grants #292526 and #326291]and European Union’s EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation Horizon 2020 [Grant Agreement No 812580 (“SULTAN”,].
EU Grant Number: (812580) SULTAN - European Training Network for the remediation and reprocessing of sulfidic mining waste sites
Academy of Finland Grant Number: 292526
Detailed Information: 292526 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
Copyright information: © 2021 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (