Optical, chemical and physical analysis of Iron Ore from Eastern Uganda for the steel industry.
Ssesanga, Abraham Samuel
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Uganda is endowed with different types of recoverable minerals iron ore being among them although the potential for viable exploitation has not yet been established for most of the minerals. This is as a result of little and in some parts no research being done about these deposits thus hindering their development. However, to aid bridge the knowledge gap about the economic potential of these ores, the different properties of the ores have to be studied. This report details the research on the optical, chemical and physical analyses of the iron ore sample from Eastern Uganda (Surumbusa and Nangwale deposits) in Mbale. This work involves understanding the quality of the ore plus its properties and characteristics in a bid to pave way for its exploitation for economic use in Uganda and beyond. Characterization was done on the samples collected from the deposits, to establish its physical, chemical and metallurgical properties. The chemical, physical and microstructural characteristics that could facilitate the initial exploitation of the ore are examined with some conclusive results from the representative samples examined. The results present Mbale (Surumbusa and Nangwale) ore as a medium grade of magnetite with Fe content averaging 62%. The gangue content (SiO2 and Al2O3) of the samples investigated is < 30%, which is within the tolerable limits for the dominant iron production processes, with its S and P contents being < 1% and 0.7% respectively. Thus, Mbale iron ore need to firstly be sintered then reduced in the furnace without presenting major difficulties. Mbale iron ore was found to meet most of the feed raw material requirements (physical, chemical and metallurgical) for the partial charging in the blast furnace and secondary for direct reduction processes. Furthermore, for those desired for sinter and pellet making. It can thus serve well as a feed raw material for smelting reduction and can further be used by the steel industry