This paper reviews the major deposits of lower grade chromite in the world and a wide variety of methods used for the recovery of chromium from these deposits. Gangue materials in more coarsely sized ores can be separated by gravity means, whereas flotation techniques are required for finer grained materials. However, unless there is considerable iron in the ores, physical means cannot increase the cr-fe ratios. Chemical techniques such as hydrometallurgical methods, chlorination, roasting and leaching, and smelting are required for this purpose. A greater understanding of the physical properties of chromites and the chemical reactions that take place in the recovery operations is required before the recoveries from lower grade chromites can be maximized. More efficient recovery operations can be realized if it can be shown definitively that the reduction of chromites occurs via either a gas- solid or solid-solid mechanism, for example. The effects of specific impurities on the chromite reduction reactions need to be better understood, as do reagent and ph control in the flotation of chromite.
J. South African Inst. Min. and Met., V. 82, No. 8, August 1982, PP. 205-226