Investigation on Flotation Behavior of a Copper Sulfide Ore after Dry Grinding By Loesche Vertical Roller Mill

Additonal authors: Silin, I.. Book title: Proceedings of the 58th Conference of Metallurgists Hosting Copper 2019. Chapter: . Chapter title:

Proceedings, Vol. Proceedings of the 58th Conference of Metallurgists Hosting Copper 2019, 2019

Katzmarzyk, J.

New deposits are often characterized as low-grade and complex ore bodies. To date, processing of fine grained ore deposits implies complex processing routes with high energy consumption. For that reason, the investigation of dry grinding, e.g. with vertical roller mills (VRM), is an approach to save energy reserves. It is already proven that dry grinding can influence subsequent processing steps. In terms of flotation, the surface characteristics of the minerals are crucial for a successful flotation process, e.g. the sufficient adhesion of mineral particles and air bubbles. Wet grinding results in different surface properties of the product entering the conditioning stage than dry grinding, which has direct influences on the subsequent flotation process. To investigate the consequences for flotation, processing of a copper sulfide ore containing chalcopyrite and bornite was investigated, including grinding and rougher flotation. The effects of wet tumbling mill and dry VRM grinding on the degree of liberation of valuable minerals are characterized using mineral liberation analysis by scanning electron microscopy. The obtained flotation results, as well as the recorded flotation parameters such as dissolved oxygen, oxidation reduction potential and conductivity are presented and discussed. INTRODUCTION Copper production is mainly connected to porphyry copper deposits as main source for copper sulfides such as chalcopyrite and bornite. State-of-the-art processing of these deposits is already established worldwide for decades, combining crushing, fine grinding and subsequent flotation with rougher, cleaner and scavenger stages (del Villar, Desbiens, & Maldonado, Bouchard, 2010). While the demand for copper is increasing, copper grades of the deposits are decreasing and the remaining ore bodies have more complex mineralogy and finer particle size distribution. This implies processing routes with high water and – due to the liberation of fine grained valuable minerals – high energy consumption by fine grinding. One of the main energy consumers in processing plants is the grinding section, which accounts for more than 50% of the energy consumption in processing plants and even 4% of the worldwide energy consumption (Jeswiet, & Szekeres, 2016). Therefore, dry fine grinding alternatives are applied to enhance the overall energy consumption of mineral processing plants: high pressure grinding rolls (HPGR) and vertical roller mills (VRM).
Keywords: Copper 2019, COM2019