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How Is Quartz Extracted?

xinhai 2019-12-25(11:12:29) 4337 70

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Quartz sand, also called silica sand, is a kind of non-metallic material that widely used in building materials, glass, ceramics, lasers, optical cables and electronics. In actual production, quartz sand can be obtained by grinding quartz ore or concentrating quartz sand ore.

Quartz mineral resources that can be applied in industry mainly include quartzite, vein quartz, quartz sandstone, powder quartz, natural siliceous sand and natural crystal, etc. In general, vein quartz and quartzite have less impurities that usually used to produce high purity or ultra-high purity quartz sand.


The quartz extraction process can be divided into dry and wet type quartz mining process. Dry processing product has low quality that mostly used as building materials, and wet quartz mining process has complex technology and the product has higher quality. The quartz mining process used in high purity quartz sand include classification desliming, ore washing, magnetic separation, flotation and acid leaching microbiological leaching and so on.

1. Crushing and Screening

Firstly, picks out high-purity ore particles from raw ores, then sends them to jaw crusher or cone crusher for crushing. Then adopts round vibrating screen and crushing equipment to ensure that the granularity of crushing products. The crushing product need to be processed by sand making machine, and then quartz sand with certain grain size is obtained. The main crushing and screening equipment is shown below:



Particle Size(mm)

Jaw Crusher



Cone Crusher

Cone Crusher, Hydraulic Cone Crusher



Round Vibrating Screen, Linear Vibrating   Screen



Autogenous Mill



2. Grinding

In the quartz mining process, the quartz grinding process usually adopts a stage or grid type ball mill - overflow type ball mill two-stage grinding, a closed circuit compose of second stage grinding operation and spiral classifier or hydrocyclone, which ensures the grinding fineness. And there are a series of ball mill developed to solve the problems of fast wearing and large energy consumption, such as adopting new wear-resistant rubber liner, changing antifriction bearing to sliding bearing, enlarging ball mill, which not only improves the operation efficiency, but also prolongs its service life.


3. Separation

In order to obtain high purity industrial quartz sand, there are several quartz mining processes can be used for further purification, such as classification desliming, ore washing, magnetic separation, flotation and acid leaching microbiological leaching process and so on. Here are the introduction of these quartz mining processes.

• Classification Desliming Process

The quality of quartz sand will be decreased with the quartz particle size, which is opposite to iron and aluminum, especially the quartz sand with high content clay, so classification desliming is a necessary quartz mining operation for quartz sand.

• Washing Process

This quartz mining process mainly relies on the friction between mechanical force and quartz particles to wipe away the iron film or adhesive materials in quartz sand surface, at the same time, it can further crush quartz particles. Then use hydrocyclone to separate fine particles from slurry, then obtain higher purity quartz sand. 

• Magnetic Separation Process

Quartz magnetic separation process can effectively remove hematite, limonite, biotite and other weak magnetic impurities. The weak magnetic separation equipment is wet type permanent magnetic separator. The strong magnetic separation equipment includes wet high-intensity permanent magnetic separator and high gradient magnetic separator.

• Flotation Process

Quartz flotation process is mainly to remove feldspar, mica and other nonmagnetic impurities. HF is commonly used as in industry as activator in industry, and cationic collector is used to flotation separation under a certain pH value.


• Acid Leaching Process

Quartz is hardly dissolved in hydrochloric acid, sulfuric acid, nitric acid, hydrofluoric acid except HF. So quartz sand is separated in industry by relying on this feature.

• Microbial Leaching Process

This is a new quartz mining process, which mainly uses aspergillus niger, penicillium, pseudomonas, polymyxin bacillus to remove the film on the quartz sand surface. The process has got good results in the lab, but it still needs further research for industrial utilization.


The above is the basic flow of quartz sand beneficiation. In actual production, the appropriate beneficiation process should be selected according to the nature of the ore and the beneficiation experiment to ensure the maximum benefit.

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