Selective dispersion-flocculation and flotation studies on a siliceous copper ore
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Indian Institute of Science
Sankaran Subramanian   

Indian Institute of Science, Department of Materials Engineering, Indian Institute of Science,, Sir C. V. Raman Road, 560012 Bengaluru, India
Publication date: 2018-11-28
Physicochem. Probl. Miner. Process. 2018;54(4):1282–1291
A low-grade copper ore from Mpanda Mineral Field (MMF), Tanzania containing 0.90% Cu, 10.40% Fe and 58.3% SiO2 was subjected to beneficiation adopting selective dispersion, flocculation and flotation techniques. Based on the mineralogical characterization of the sample chalcopyrite, pyrite and quartz were identified as the major minerals. The isoelectric point of MMF ore was observed to be at pH 2.7, signifying that the ore was highly siliceous. The addition of sodium trisilicate and xanthan gum shifted the zeta potential of ore to more electronegative values. Adsorption of xanthan gum on chalcopyrite and silica indicated that the maximum adsorption was at pH 2.3 for chalcopyrite and the adsorption isotherm exhibited L2 type of the Giles classification. On the contrary, no adsorption of xanthan gum on silica was observed. The ground ore was selectively dispersed and flocculated at pH 9.7 using 30 ppm of sodium trisilicate and 30 ppm of xanthan gum. The grade of CuFeS2 was improved to 19.8% after 3 desliming stages. Flotation of the flocculated portion was carried out at pH 10.30 using 30 g/t of potassium amyl xanthate and potassium ethyl xanthate (1:1) , 40 g/t of Na2S as a sulphidising agent and methyl iso-butyl carbinol (MIBC) as a frother yielding a rougher concentrate with silica and chalcopyrite grades of 8.4% and 23.5% respectively with corresponding recoveries of 4.8% and 92.8% respectively. Additionally, rougher concentrate was subjected to cleaner flotation yielding silica and chalcopyrite grades of 1.8% and 29.2 % respectively and with recoveries of 1.2% and 89.1% respectively.