Two samples of phosphate-bearing sand were collected from Unit FPS-1 of the Miocene Pungo River Formation and the reworked Holocene sediments exposed on the sea floor 30 miles southeast of the Cape Fear River in OnslowBay, North Carolina. Samples of these units were analyzed by three independent laboratories in order to compare metallurgical properties derived by a standard bench-scale freshwater beneficiation with a new single-stage saltwater froth flotation process.
The scope of this study involves field and laboratory investigations including collection of several large bulk samples (collectively weighing approximately 1,000 pounds), a description of the sea floor from which the samples were collected, and the development of SCUBA diving techniques that may be used if future bulk samples are required.
Laboratory investigations include a comparative beneficiation study of both muddy and shelly phosphatic sands utilizing fresh and saline process water. The laboratory investigation also compares a new saltwater beneficiation technology with existing fresh water beneficiation techniques presently utilized by the phosphate mining industry. By Ronald A. Crowson, Stanley R. Riggs, Eric R. Powers, Roe-Hoan Yoon, and Jurgen Schoenherr, 1994. 27 pages.