ABSTRACT A study of the kinetics of the dissolution of a Nigerian tantalite ore in Nitric acid
has been examined. A detailed investigation on the quantitative leaching of the mineral was
also carried out. The effects of some parameters such as acid concentration, contact time,
temperature, particle size and the stirring rate on dissolution action have been
investigated. Experimental results indicate that the dissolution rate is diffusion controlled
via hydrogen ion [H+] action, with reaction order of 0.64. About 81.3% of tantalite ore
was dissolved within 120min., using 8.06M HNO3 solution with <0.040mm particle size.
Activation energy, Ea, of 22.37kJ/mole was obtained for the process. However, elemental
analysis by inductively coupled-plasma mass spectrophotometry showed that the major
elements in the ore are Ta(39.9%), Fe(24.9%), Ti(4.03%), S(12.4%) and Mn(2.39%). The
x-ray diffractometry also confirmed the ore to exist in a single phase with tantalite
characteristics peaks at 3.31A0, 2.55A0 and 1.74A00 The ore is not radioactive by its virtue of its very low thorium and uranium contents.
Cite this paper
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