A New Technique for Recovering Copper From Complex Copper Oxide Ore by Flotation and Metallurgical Processing
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Copper oxide ore has a complex composition, and a low recovery rate is often achieved via the traditional sorting method. A new combined process of flotation–high-gradient magnetic separation–leaching is proposed here to recover copper minerals. The test results showed that the flotation process was successful when using sodium sulfide as a vulcanizing agent and butyl xanthate as a collector. The flotation concentrates can be qualified with a copper grade of 29.37% and a recovery rate of 32.22%. Flotation tailings separated by high-gradient magnetic separation can yield two products, namely, magnetic separation concentrates and magnetic separation tailings, via the leaching recovery of the remaining copper minerals. However, the leaching conditions are different. The leaching rates of copper from magnetic separation concentrates and tailings are 28.44% and 26.95%, respectively. The total copper recovery is 87.61%. This new technology introduces a high-gradient magnetic separation process, which achieves the requirements of low energy consumption and high-efficiency copper recovery.
This research project was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 51464029 and 51704135), the Analysis and Testing Foundation of Kunming University of Science and Technology (Grant No. 2017P20161101009), and a project funded by China Postdoctoral Science Foundation (Grant No. 2018T111000).