An investigation of the iron deposits in the East River Mountain district
Williams, George K.
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The East River Mountain district. located in Tazewell and Bland counties. Virginia. is an area of approximately 80 square miles much of which is underlain by ferruginous sandstones of Clinton age. The extensive areas of outcrop of the ferruginous sandstone make large tonnages of the rock readily available for open-pit quarrying. Investigations show that within the area studied over 60 million tons of hematite were contained in the ferruginous sandstones present in the East River Mountain district. Thus these sandstones constitute a large potential for commercial iron ore if extraction is possible. In September of 1956 9 laboratory study of the ironbearing sandstones was inaugurated primarily to discover a commercially feasible method of beneficiating and concentrating the hematite contained in the sandstones. High-tension electrostatic, wet and dry magnetic. and ultrasonic methods of extraction were studied. Of these methods ultrasonic insonation of the ferruginous sandstone appears to hold the most promise for obtaining satisfactory concentrates of hematite from the sandstone. A marked upgrading of the hematite content was noted after the crushed iron-bearing sandstones were subjected to ultrasonic insonation at a frequency of 22 kilocycles. The ultrasonic treatment used to concentrate the hematite appears to be both adaptable and economical on a commercial scale.
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