Effect of microwave system location on floatability of chalcopyrite and pyrite in a copper ore processing circuit
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Department of Mining and Metallurgical Engineering
Amirkabir University of Technology
Faculty of Engineering, University of Mohaghegh Ardabili
Department of Processing, Helmholtz-Institute Freiberg for Resource Technology, Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf
Research and Development Division, Sarcheshmeh Copper Mine, National Iranian Copper Industries Company
Publication date: 2020-03-08
Corresponding author
Bahram Rezai   

Amirkabir University of Technology
Physicochem. Probl. Miner. Process. 2020;56(3):432-448
The present work aims at investigating the effect of microwave local positions (i.e. before crushing (BC), after crushing (AC) and after milling (AM)) on microwave-assisted flotation of chalcopyrite and pyrite in a porphyry copper complex deposit. Individual given samples for each state were pre-treated with a variable power microwave at a power level of 90 to 900W for 15, 30, and 60s. Furthermore, froth floatation experiments were carried out using a laboratory mechanical Denver flotation cell on both microwave-treated and untreated samples. Particle surface properties were characterized by a scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and an energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX) analysis. The results showed that the chalcopyrite and pyrite floatabilities increased monotonically by rising the exposure time and power level for the uncrushed preconditioned samples (BC) due to the enhancement of mineral liberation degrees together with the formation of sulphide species and polysulphides on the mineral surfaces. However, flotation results of treated samples for the crushed one (AC) revealed an optimum range. Formation of intensive oxide layers on the mineral surfaces of milled samples (AM) led to a substantial reduction in their recoveries by increasing the microwave’s power level and the sample’s exposure time. The results obtained from mineral’s floatabilities in recleaner stage showed that the microwave-assisted sample at 900W for 30s at BC state favourably provided 5% higher S.E.’s than that of the untreated sample. Finally, it was concluded that the microwave pretreatment of samples induced the best floatability responses if it located before the crusher.
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