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Chemical and Mineralogical Characterization of Malaysian Low Grade Manganese Ore

Suhaina Ismail, Syed Fuad Saiyid Hashim, Hashim Hussin, Norazharuddin Shah Abdullah


This paper aims to chemically and mineralogically characterize the Malaysian low grade manganese ore (LGMO). The optical microscope, and scanning electron microscope (SEM) fitted with an energy-dispersive x-ray analyzer (EDX) were used for ore morphology assessment, mineral liberation analysis, particle texture studies, grain size distribution and mineral association assessment. X-ray fluorescence (XRF) and X-ray diffraction (XRD) were used to determine the LGMO’s composition and to identify mineral phases, respectively. SEM images with EDX analysis revealed various optical characteristics of the ore, while XRF results showed that the major elements present in this LGMO are Si, (16.95%), followed by Mn, Fe and Al (at 13.17%, 4.63% and 4.70%, respectively). Phase analysis by XRD meanwhile, revealed the presence of α-quartz, pyrolusite and aluminum-substituted goethite. The natural grain-size distribution and texture (observed using optical and backscattered image analysis) revealed that manganese liberation was observed at particle sizes below 150 µm. This indicates that particle size has a significant effect in the recovery of the manganese oxide. The data and information obtained from this characterization study will aid in the identification and the design of a suitable treatment method for this local LGMO, and with that, the possibility of exploiting this deposit as a local source of manganese. 


Low grade manganese ore; ore characterization; mineral liberation; SEM; XRD; XRF; Rietveld refinement

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0369-8963 - ISSN ONLINE: 2239-1002