The beneficiation of Canadian graphite ores: a review of processing studies at CANMET

CIM Bulletin, Vol. 85, No. 960, 1992

P.R.A. Andrews, Industrial Minerals Section, Mineral Processing Laboratory, CANMET-EMR, Ottawa, Ontario

Graphite is one of the most versatile of non-metallic minerals because of its diversified properties, for example: it is unctuous; it marks readily; burns slowly; is almost chemically inert; is flexible over a large temperature range; is a good conductor of heat and electricity; is hydrophobic; has a negative temperature coefficient of resistivity; has excellent weathering properties; tends to emulsify with water-in-oil; is readily soluble in iron; and after oxidative treatment, can exfoliate like vermiculite. These properties give rise to its major uses in lubrication, refractories, marking instruments, electrical products and paints. Flake graphite is the variety which commonly occurs in Canada; the provinces of Ontario and Quebec contain the deposits of economic significance, although graphite occurs in other provinces. The beneficiation of graphite has been the subject of many investigations at CANMET, thus reflecting graphite's importance as an industrial mineral. Thirty-eight studies relating to various aspects of beneficiation were conducted between 1918 and 1989 and a review of some of the more important studies is presented. The information includes mineralogy, beneficiation methods and results; flotation parameters and reagent concentration data are presented in tabular form. By so arranging the principal data, the research worker and production metallurgist will be assisted in the evaluation of graphite ores from a variety of origins.
Mots Clés: Industrial minerals, Graphite ores, Beneficiation of Canadian graphite ores, Mineral processing.