Basic Information About Abrasive Garnet Processing
Garnet is a mineral that is abundantly present in the earth and can be extracted from the soil with careful processing. The term describes a large family of minerals that are chemically related. The garnet can be said to be like a grain, and grain like crystals are found embedded in the stone. It is obtained from the silicate based stones and is formed when natural forces like wind, water, and natural shifts of the Earth’s plates wear away at stones. Garnets are generally found in river beds, which indicate that water is the important force in forming garnet minerals. The stone is then harvested and processed to get abrasive garnet. Through geological history of erosion and deposition the highest quality garnet is made available. There are many industries located all over the world for abrasive garnet production.
There are many types of garnet with the same chemical formula and they are found naturally all over the world. The abrasive garnets have different characteristics depending on their natural region. The largest deposits of the highest quality are found in North America, Australia, East Africa, and Asia – specifically in India and Russia. The garnets are available mainly from river beds and mountain regions of these places. Many garnets are mined in an open pit and the shallow overburden, or soils over mineral deposits, is removed using large bucket shovels and dump trucks. This is the appropriate method of extraction for shallow deposits of garnet.
Highly refined, non-toxic garnets are obtained from mining and wet-processing operations. In a wet concentrator, spiral classifiers are used to separate abrasive garnet from lighter trash minerals and shell sands. The garnet is passed through a vacuum filter belt with several stages of final washing with freshwater for very low level of chloride that is internationally accepted.
The remaining sands are shifted back to the mined paddies and reshaped with original top soil for rehabilitation. The quality of the semi-refined garnet concentrate is tested at the laboratory from the sample and then it undergoes dry processing. Final impurities are removed with rare earth magnetic separators using natural gas fired rotary dryers. Non-magnetic minerals spin off in the outer cut and magnetic minerals fall below. At the end of dry processing the garnet is packed in an automatic twin-spout bagging machine and the bulk garnet is stored in large storage sheds for shipping.
The price of garnet is decided based on the type, source, quality purchased, quality and application. The world industrial garnet production has reached a total of about 335,000t. To get a quality product of garnet abrasive, the mining and processing tasks are complicated and need careful supervision.