Minerals Research


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Research for a stronger Iron Range.

Man operates upright cylindrical machine.

NRRI's Minerals Lab in Coleraine, Minn., solves short-term problems, identifies unique market niches, provides medium- to long-range technical innovation and develops future products and processes. The facility has an analytical laboratory along with mineral processing, metallurgical and pyrometallurgical processing capabilities.

Lab Manager: Richard Kiesel, rkiesel@d.umn.edu, 218-667-4207

Mineral Characterization/Geology

  • Alternate mineral opportunities (ilmenite, copper, nickel, PGMs)
  • Mineral liberation assessment
  • Chemical Characterization
  • Chemical Laboratory with state-of-the-art analytical equipment, plasma spectroscopy, Leco carbon sulfur and wet iron titration

Mineral Processing/Comminution/Benefication

  • Bench-to-pilot scale facilities
  • Crushing/Grinding/Screening
  • Gravity Separation
  • Chemical Flotation

Extractive Metallurgy

  • Pyrometallurgy - High Temperature Processing
  • Hydrometallurgy

Engineering/Process Modeling

  • Computational Fluid Dynamics Modeling
  • Mass and energy balances
  • Process surveys/audits
  • USIM Pac software concentrator modeling
  • Process flow diagrams

Product Diversification/Alternative Iron-making Technologies

  • Direct Reduced Iron (DRI)
  • Nodular Reduced Iron (Iron Nuggets)

Taconite By-Product Development 

  • High-quality, wear-resistant aggregates for friction surfacing systems, upper course of composite pavements and/or thin-lift asphalt
  • Taconite-based pothole repair and paving compounds.