Pyrometallurgical recovery of tin from tailings of Penouta Sn-Ta-Nb deposit

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Félix A. López*, Irene García-Díaz, Olga Rodríguez Largo, Francisco Polonio, Teresa Llorens

Pp 31-35


A concentrate obtained of a mining waste containing mainly cassiterite from the Penouta mine
(provided by Strategic Minerals S.L) was reduced for the production of Sn. The fluxes used in
pyrometallurgical reduction reactions were CaCO3, Na2CO3, K2CO3 and borax; the reducing agent
was graphite. The greatest recovery of Sn (>95%) was obtained when using CaCO3 as a flux, with a
Sn purity of 96%. A slag is also produced during the recovery. of the Sn, equivalent to 25% of the
mass of the initial concentrate. Its content in Nb2O5 and Ta2O5 reached 45%, adding further value
to the mine tailings.
Keywords: Cassiterite; Columbotantalite; Carbothermic reduction; Tin