The beneficiation of Canadian refractory silicate minerals — kyanite, sillimanite and andalusite

CIM Bulletin, Vol. 88, No. 988, 1995

P.R.A. Andrews, Resource Utilization Laboratory CANMET, Natural Resources Canada, Ottawa, Ontario

The sillimanite group minerals, kyanite, sillimanite and andalusite are identified as alumina-silicate minerals with the common chemical composition Alf)3.SiO2, so that each possesses similar physical properties. Kyanite is the most abundant mineral and mainly occurs in Quebec, Ontario and British Columbia; sillimanite occurs in Ontario and Manitoba; and andalusite in Nova Scotia. The main use for the sillimanite-group minerals is in refractory applications for the production of refractory bricks and shapes. In refractory applications, the main performance criterion is the relative percentage of mullite formed within the material during firing. This phase gives a greater degree of resistance to creep deformation and slag attack, and improves the ability of the refractory to withstand high temperatures under load. The beneficiation of refractory silicate minerals has been the subject of many investigations at CANMET, and the former Mines Branch. Eighteen kyanite, two sillimanite, and three andalusite evaluation studies were conducted between 1933 and 1987. A review of some of the more important studies is presented, which includes information concerning mineralogy, beneficiation methods and flotation data.  
Mots Clés: Industrial minerals, Silicates, Refractory silicate minerals, Kyanite.