Advertisement

Is flotation the unavoidable way for beneficiating metal sulphide ores?

  • J. De Cuyper
  • Ch. Lucion

Synopsis

Although it is clear that flotation has become the conventional way for beneficiating metal sulphide ores and will remain so as long as grade is sufficient to bear the cost, other methods have to be taken into consideration. These can be either physical concentration other than flotation or metallurgical processes.

Physical separation methods such as gravity concentration, magnetic separation, electronic sorting are not only used at preconcentration stages, but also with the aim of upgrading sulphide concentrates produced by flotation. Selective flocculation has also been proposed as a possible solution for concentrating ultra-fine sulphide particles, which could not be easily recovered by flotation.

While the metallurgical processes such as roasting, smelting and leaching have been particularly well adapted to the treatment of fine sulphide flotation concentrates, there are some cases where sulphide ores can be advantageously treated directly in roasting or smelting furnaces, e.g. in the segregation process applied to mixed oxide and sulphide ores, which are refractory to physical separations and also in the so-called “pyritic” smelting.

But the main applications of direct metallurgical treatment of sulphide ores are to be found in the direct leaching of low grade sulphide ores or wastes, in combination with bacterial oxidation. While the process has been first developed for copper sulphides, it has been recently extended to the extraction of gold from refractory ores containing pyrites and arsenopyrites.

Finally, this review also includes the special case of massive pyrite ores, which contain up to 90 wt % of pyrite and which are not amenable to selective metal sulphide separation by flotation.

Keywords

Zinc Sulphide Flotation Process Metal Sulphide Copper Sulphide Bacterial Leaching 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. 1.
    Gorgemans N. Etude de la valorisation des gisements de sulfures polymétalliques du point de vue commercial. Mémoire fin d’études, Univ. Cath. Louvain, Belgium, 1988. p. 108–111.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Doyle E.N. The sink-float process in lead — zinc concentration. In: AIME World Symposium on Mining and Metallurgy of Lead and Zinc, vol. 1, New York: AIME, 1970. p. 814–851.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Fiedler K.J., Munro P.D. and Pease J.D. Commissioning and operation of the 800 tph heavy medium cyclone plant at Mount Isa Mines Limited. In: Austral. Inst. Min. Met. Annual Conference, Darwin, 1984, p. 259–271.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Lovering L. and Allen M. The Afton concentrator. Canadian Mining Journal, vol.100,n° 3, March 1979, p. 37–38.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    White L. Boliden improves processing economics. Engineering and Mining Journal, vol. 186, n° 7, July 1985, p. 32–36.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Israelson A.F. Magnetic separation of minerals. Mining Magazine, vol. 139, n° 9, Sept. 1978, p. 211–219.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Bouchat M.A., Detiege A. and Robert D. Magnetic recovery of germanium sulphide with the Frantz ferrofilter. Paper presented at AIME annual meeting, New York, 1960.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Magnetic methods of the treatment of minerals. J. Svoboda. Amsterdam: Elsevier, 1987, 692 pp.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    El Tawil M.M. and Morales M.M. Application of wet high intensity magnetic separation to sulfide mineral beneficiation. In: Complex sulfides, Processing of ores, concentrates and by-products symposium. Sponsored by the Metallurgical Society of AIME and the Canadian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy. San Diego: AIME, 1985. p. 507–524.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Kim Y.S., Fujita T., Hashimoto S. and Shimoiizaka J. The removal of Cu sulphide minerals from the Pb flotation concentrate of black ore by high gradient magnetic separation. In: XVth International Mineral Processing Congress. Sponsored by Société de l’Industrie Minérale and others. Cannes: Gedim, 1985, vol. 1. p. 381–390.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Xuemin Y., Pingbo H. and Zhongyuan S. Studies on vibrating high gradient magnetic separation of mixed sulphide flotation concentrates. In: Proceedings of the XVIth International Mineral Processing Congress. Stockholm: Elsevier, 1988, part A. p. 1065–1074.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Quingxing S. Personal communication. April 1989.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Andres U.T., Devernoe A.L. and Walker M.S. (Assigned to Mag — Sep Corporation). Apparatus and method employing magnetic fluids for separating particles. U.S. Patent 4,594,149. June 10, 1986.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Walker M.S., Devernoe A.L., Stuart R.W. and Urbanski W.S. Application of a new mineral separation process: the MC process. In: Proceedings 17th Annual Meeting of the Canadian Mineral Processors. Sponsored by the Canadian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy. Ottawa: The Canadian Mineral Processors, 1985. p. 238–255.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Kennedy A. Mineral processing developments at Hammaslahti, Finland. Mining Magazine, vol. 152, n° 2, Febr. 1985, p. 122–129.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Fuerstenau D.W. Fine particle flotation. In: Fine particles processing: Proceedings International Symposium. Sponsored by Society of Mining Engineers of AIME. New York, 1980. p. 669–719.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Colombo A.F. Selective flocculation and flotation of iron-bearing materials. In: Fine particles processing: Proceedings International Symposium. Sponsored by Society of Mining Engineers of AIME. New York, 1980. p. 1034–1056.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Banks A.F. Selective flocculation — flotation of slimes from sylvinite ores. In: Fine particles processing: Proceedings International Symposium. Sponsored by Society of Mining Engineers of AIME. New York, 1980. p. 1104–1111.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Somasundaran P. Selective flocculation of fines. In: The Physical Chemistry of Mineral-reagent interactions in sulfide flotation: proceedings of symposium. Sponsored by the U.S. Bureau of Mines. College Park, Md.: U.S. Bureau of Mines Information Circular n° 8818, 1980. p. 150–167.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Termes S.C., Wilfong R.L. and Richardson P.E. Flocculation of sulfide mineral fines by insoluble cross — linked starch xanthate. U.S. Bureau of Mines Report of investigations n° 8819, 1983.Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Ocepek D. Selective flocculation and flotation. Rudarsko — Metalurski Zbornik, vol. 31, 1984, p. 363–375.Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Acar S. and Somasundaran P. Effect of dissolved mineral species on flocculation of sulfides. Minerals and Metallurgical Processing, vol. 2, n° 4, Nov. 1985, p. 231–235.Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Soto H. and Barbery G. Separation of fine particles by floc flotation. In: Production and Processing of fine particles. New York: Pergamon, 1988, p. 297–308.Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Strauss G.K. and Gray K.G. Complex pyritic ores of the Iberian Peninsula and their beneficiation, with special reference to Tharsis Company mines, Spain. In: Complex Sulphide Ores. Conference sponsored by the Institution of Mining and Metallurgy and others. London: I.M.M., 1980. p. 79–87.Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Motta Guedes R.M. and Severino Rodriguez A. Integrated treatment of pyrite cinders at Quimigal - Barreiro. In: Complex sulfides, Processing of ores, concentrates and by-products symposium. Sponsored by the Metallurgical Society of AIME and the Canadian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy. San Diego: AIME, 1985. p. 457–470.Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Rey M. The copper segregation process. In: SME Mineral processing handbook. Sponsored by Society of Mining Engineers of AIME. New York: AIME, 1985. 14F p. 1–7.Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Cauwe Ph., Minet Ph. and Sheridan R. Selective roasting of complex sulfide material. In: Advances in sulfide smelting: International Sulfide Smelting Symposium. Sponsored by the Metallurgical Society of AIME and others. New York: AIME, 1983. p. 427–449.Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Salter R.S., Synnott J., Gilders R., Doucet G. and Boorman R.S. Design, construction and commissioning of the demonstration plant for the RPC sulphation roast process. In: Complex sulfides, Processing of ores, concentrates and by-products symposium. Sponsored by the Metallurgical Society of AIME and the Canadian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy. San Diego: AIME, 1985. p. 609–622.Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Wilkomirsky I., Boorman R.S. and Chalkley M.E. Process and reactor design for the RPC sulphation roast process. In: The Reinhardt Schuhmann international symposium on innovative technology and reactor design in extractive metallurgy. Sponsored by TMS — AIME and others. Warrendale: The Metallurgical Society, 1986. p. 937–950.Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Worner H.K. Microwave energy as an aid to smelting. In: Non-ferrous smelting symposium: 100 years of lead smelting and refining in Port Pirie. Sponsored by the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy. Parkville, Victoria: AusIMM, 1989. p. 17–20.Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Asteljoki J.A. and Hanniala T.P.T. Flash smelting of pyrite and sulphur recovery. In: Productivity and technology in the metallurgical industries: Proceedings International Symposium. Sponsored by the Minerals, Metals and Materials Society. Warrendale, Pennsylvania: T.M.S., 1989. p. 341–356.Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Warner N.A. Towards polymetallic sulphide smelting. In: Complex sulfides, Processing of ores, concentrates and by-products symposium. Sponsored by the Metallurgical Society of AIME and the Canadian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy. San Diego: AIME, 1985. p. 847–865.Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Hanna R.K. and Warner N.A. Process requirements for the direct condemnation of both zinc and lead as metals in the polymetallic smelting of Zn-Pb-Cu sulphides. In: Non-ferrous smelting symposium: 100 years of lead smelting and refining in Port Pirie. Sponsored by the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy. Parkville, Victoria: AusIMM, 1989. p. 227–236.Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    Murr L.E. Theory and practice of copper sulphide leaching in dumps and in situ. Minerals Science and Engineering, vol. 12, n° 3, July 1980, p. 121–189.Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    Fuerstenau M.C. and Han K.N. Challenges in hydrometallurgy. In: Challenges in mineral processing: symposium proceedings. Sponsored by Society of Mining Engineers. Littleton, Colorado: Society of Mining Engineers, 1989. p. 749–765.Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    Paul B.C., Sohn H.Y. and McCarter M.K. Model for bacterial leaching of copper ores containing a variety of sulfides. In: Metallurgical processes for the year 2000 and beyond. Proceedings of International Symposium. Sponsored by the Minerals, Metals and Materials Society and others. Warrendale: Minerals, Metals and Materials Society, 1988. p. 451–464.Google Scholar
  37. 37.
    Ehrlich H.L. Bacterial leaching of silver from a silver — containing mixed sulfide ore by a continuous process. In: Fundamental and applied biohydrometallurgy. Proceedings of VIth International Symposium on Biohydrometallurgy. Sponsored by British Colombia Research and others. Amsterdam: Elsevier, 1986, p. 77–88.Google Scholar
  38. 38.
    Miller, P.C. Large - scale bacterial leaching of a copper — zinc ore in situ. In: Fundamental and applied biohydrometallurgy. Proceedings of Vlth International Symposium on Biohydrometallurgy. Sponsored by British Colombia Research and others. Amsterdam: Elsevier, 1986, p. 215–239.Google Scholar
  39. 39.
    Lopes R.F. and Leloux P.L. A review of problems in optimizing extraction in gold heap leaching. CIM Bulletin, vol. 81, n° 915, July 1988, p. 86–89.Google Scholar
  40. 40.
    Bhappu R.B. Hydrometallurgical advances in precious metals extraction. In: Advances in mineral processing. Arbiter Symposium. Sponsored by the Society of Mining Engineers. Littleton, Colorado: Society of Mining Engineers, 1986. p. 463–480.Google Scholar
  41. 41.
    Von Michaelis H. Present and future of gold and silver metallurgy. In: Challenges in mineral processing: symposium proceedings. Sponsored by Society of Mining Engineers. Littleton, Colorado: Society of Mining Engineers, 1989. p. 605–637.Google Scholar
  42. 42.
    Sutill K.R. Bio-oxidation for refractory gold. Engineering and Mining Journal, vol. 190, n° 9, Sept. 1989, p. 31–32.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Institution of Mining and Metallurgy 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. De Cuyper
    • 1
  • Ch. Lucion
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratoire de Traitement des MineraisUniversité Catholique de LouvainLouvain-La-NeuveBelgium

Personalised recommendations