Release time:26 August 2019


Mineral Classification
silicate Minerals

Chemical Formula


Mohs Hardness

Crystal System

Reddish brown, yellow, green, blue, gray, colorless; in thin section, colorless to pale brown

Vitreous to adamantine; greasy when metamict.

Conchoidal to uneven


What is Zircon Sand?

Zirconium sand, also known as zircon sand, is a mineral composed mainly of zirconium silicate. Pure zircon sands are colorless transparent crystals, often dyed yellow, orange, red, and brown due to different origins and impurities. The crystalline structure belongs to the tetragonal crystalline system. The crystalline structure is tetragonal cone-columnar with a specific gravity of 4.6-4.71. The refractive index is 7~8, and the refractive index is between 1.3 and 2.0. The melting point fluctuates at 2190~2420 C with the impurity.
Zircon is a mineral consisting mainly of zirconium, silicon, and oxygen crystallized from magma during igneous rock formation. Zircon is also found in dikes and metamorphic rocks. It is a tetragonal system, usually a well-developed pyramidal small tetragonal cylinder and irregular granular. Crispy and factoid. It is a high-quality refractory material. Most coexist with ilmenite, rutile, monazite, and yttrium phosphate rock in seashore sand and are obtained by water separation, electric separation, and magnetic separation.

Zircon Sand Distribution

The regional distribution of zirconium reserves is highly concentrated, and the zirconium reserves are mainly distributed in Australia, South Africa, and other countries, and the distribution is highly concentrated. From the perspective of regional distribution of zirconium resources, the world zirconium reserves are mainly in the hands of Australia, South Africa, Ukraine, India, and Brazil. Five countries occupy 86%of the world’s zirconium resources, and the monopoly is obvious. According to the US Geological Survey, China’s zirconium ore reserves are only 500 thousand tons, accounting for less than 1%of the world’s Zirconium resources. Output growth is moving steadily, and the supply structure is changing.

Zircon Sand Applications

Zircon sand is extremely resistant to high temperatures with a melting point of 2750 degrees Celsius. And acid corrosion resistance.80%of the world is directly used in casting, ceramics, glass, and refractories. A small amount is used in ferroalloys, pharmaceuticals, paints, tanning, abrasives, chemical, and nuclear industries. A very small amount of used for smelting zirconium.
High-quality zircon and other adhesives have good adhesion and are used in the foundry industry. Zircon sand is also used as a brick for glass kilns. Zircon sand and zircon powder are mixed with other refractory materials for other uses.
Zirconium in metallic form is mainly used in the chemical and nuclear reactor industries and in other industries requiring corrosion resistance, high-temperature resistance, special fusion properties, or the absorption of special neutrons. In the United States, about 8%of the total consumption of zirconium is used in these industries, and the only meaningful application of hafnium metal is in Naval Nuclear reactors.

The Zircon sand processing method varies with zircon deposit conditions. The introduction of common zircon sand processing is as below.

Zircon Sand Process

Zircon sand processing plant is the process of removing impurities from zircon ores and increasing zircon content. Zircon(also known as zirconium)is zirconium orthosilicate. Its chemical formula is ZrSiO4.It is one of the most common zirconium-bearing minerals. The zircon ore deposits are mostly seashore placer deposits. Heavy minerals such as magnetite, ilmenite, rutile, and monazite are usually associated with zircon-bearing sands. The heavy minerals are generally recycled as the target minerals when the zircon is selected.

Zircon Sand Processing Methods

Gravity separation, magnetic separation, electrostatic separation, and flotation are often used in the zircon sand processing plant.

  • Gravity Separation

    Zircon occurs in ilmenite and is often accompanied by hematite, chromite, garnet, and other heavy minerals. Therefore, gravity separation is often used in the initial stage of zircon enrichment, such as shaking table to separate heavy minerals from gangue(quartz, feldspar, biotite)and other heavy minerals.

  • Flotation

    Commonly used collectors are fatty acids(oleic acid, sodium oleate), the slurry regulator is sodium carbonate, the inhibitor is sodium silicate, the activator is sodium sulfide, and heavy metal salts(zirconium chloride, ferric chloride). Oxalic acid is also used to adjust the pulp to acid and flotation with amine collectors.

  • Electrostatic Separation

    The conductive minerals, such as ilmenite, hematite, chromite, cassiterite, and rutile, are separated from the non-conductive minerals such as zircon, monazite, garnet, and apatite by using the difference of conductivity of minerals. Before deselecting, desliming, drying and dosing should be done.

  • Magnetic Separation

    Heavy minerals in the magnetic minerals are ilmenite, hematite, chromite, garnet, biotite, monazite, and so on. Zircon is a non-magnetic mineral or a weakly magnetic mineral. Magnetic separation is divided into two types: dry type and wet type. The dry magnetic separation must be preheated before drying and grading. The wet magnetic separator has a wide particle size and a lower particle size of 20um. Therefore, the wet magnetic separator is more suitable when the zircon particle size is fine.

Because there are many associated minerals in zircon sand, it is necessary to combine gravity separation, magnetic separation, flotation, and electrostatic separation.
The zircon sand concentrator is often divided into two parts: wet treatment and dry treatment. In the wet treatment stage, gangue minerals such as quartz, feldspar, and mica are removed by gravity separation equipment such as a cone concentrator, spiral concentrator, shaker, or jig.
The heavy minerals (crude concentrate) obtained are further separated by 2-4 stages of concentrating to remove the remaining light minerals and then concentrated, dehydrated, dried, cooled, and sent to the dry treatment stage for further separation.
The dry processing section generally comprises weak magnetic separation, high-intensity magnetic separation, and electrostatic separation. Where to buy magnetic separators?
The aim is to recover magnetite, ilmenite, rutile, and monazite associated with zircon. Magnetite can be recovered by weak magnetic separation, ilmenite and garnet can be recovered by strong magnetic separation, and a high-voltage electrostatic separator can separate monazite, rutile, and zircon.

Zircon Sand Processing Plant

This is a 100 t/h beach sand processing plant. The complete plant is configured with the below machines: feeder, vibrating screen, belt conveyor, slurry pump, magnetic separator, spiral chute, shaking table, dryer, and electrostatic separator.

Raw ore information as below

  1. Capacity: 100tph
  2. Above 2mm impurities are removed
  3. Need separate rutile, monazite, zircon, ilmenite, magnetite from the beach sand.

Flowchart explanation as below

  1. The excavator or Loader feeds raw sand to the raw ore bin, then feeds the vibrating screen through the electromagnetic vibrating feeder.
  2. Vibrating screen with one layer screen with 2mm mesh size, to remove above 2mm impurities.
  3. Below 2mm go to magnetic separator by slurry pump for separating out magnetite.
  4. The output of the magnetic separator is sent to the spiral chute by a slurry pump. Through gravity separation method to remove light minerals.
  5. The spiral chute gravity separation plant has two stages: the middling from the first stage spiral chute plant goes to the second stage spiral chute for reprocessing.
  6. All concentrates from two stages of spiral chute plants are sent to 1st double drum magnetic separator for separating out ilmenite.
  7. The output of 1st double drum magnetic separator is sent to the shaking table by a slurry pump for removing light minerals by gravity principle.
  8. The Shaking table has two stages: the middling from the first stage shaking table is sent to the second stage shaking table for further processing by a slurry pump.
  9. All concentrate from the two stages of the shaking table plant is sent to the rotary dryer for drying material.
  10. After drying, dry materials through the hoist machine to the 2nd double drum magnetic separator to separate the ilmenite.
  11. Other minerals from 2nd double drum magnetic separator go to 1st electrostatic separator through the hoist machine for separating out rutile, other minerals through the hoist machine to 2nd electrostatic separator for separating out rutile, other minerals through the hoist machine to 3rd electrostatic separator for separating out rutile.
  12. Other minerals from the 3rd electrostatic separator go to the double roller strong magnetic separator via a hoist machine for separating out zircon and monazite.
100tph beach sand processing plant

100 TPH Zircon(Beach) Sand Process Plant

beach sand concentration process

Zircon Washing Machine Manufacturer

Zircon is mainly consumed as an opacifier, and has been known to be used in the decorative ceramics industry. It is also the principal precursor not only to metallic zirconium, although this application is small, but also to all compounds of zirconium including zirconium dioxide (ZrO2), one of the most refractory materials known.
aJXSC mine machinery Company in China has more than 30 years professional experience at zircon sand processing, design full set zircon sand separation plant flowchart, provides complete set zircon sand mining equipment, can send an engineer to mine site for zircon sand processing machines installation and commissioning guidance.
JXSC provides a full of mining machines for various mineral ore, stone crushers, gold wash plant, jig concentrator, and so on.
Other applications include use in refractories and foundry casting and a growing array of specialty applications as zirconia and zirconium chemicals, including in nuclear fuel rods, catalytic fuel converters and in water and air purification systems.

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