Acid bake-leach-flotation treatment of offgrade molybdenite
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A process has been developed and piloted to reject Cu, Pb, Fe, P, Bi, Sb, elemental sulfur, and insol from molybdenite concentrate without decomposing the contained molybdenite and rhenium. The impure concentrate is first heated with concentrated sulfuric acid to attain a 260° to 290°C final bed temperature. This bake not only oxidizes the contaminating sulfides, but also activated the concentrate for later rejection of insol by flotation. Two stages of leaching follow the sulfation step. The first is an acidified water leach which extracts the oxidized Cu, Fe, and P; the second leach rejects the Pb, Bi, and Sb into a warm concentrated solution of sodium chloride. Final upgrading is achieved by conventional froth flotation. The chemistry of the process as well as results obtained from its implementation in a 5000 lb per day pilot plant are presented.
KeywordsMolybdenite Molybdenite Concentrate Elemental Sulfur Reaction Product
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