Separation of Molybdenite and Chalcopyrite Using Various Oxidation Treatments

Additonal authors: Hirajima, Tsuyoshi. 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

Suyantara, Gde Pandhe Wisnu

Selective flotation of molybdenite and chalcopyrite using various oxidation treatments (i.e., ozone treatment, hydrogen peroxide, and Fenton-like reagent) was studied in this work. It was found that ozone treatment produced a depressing effect on both minerals, resulting in a lower separation of both minerals. On the other hand, oxidation treatment using hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and Fenton-like reagent could deliver selective oxidation on chalcopyrite surface and depress its floatability. However, bench-scale copper- molybdenum (Cu-Mo) flotation tests show that oxidation treatment using H2O2 required a higher dosage of H2O2 and a longer treatment time in order to deliver comparable flotation results to that of conventional Cu- Mo flotation using NaHS treatment. On the contrary, Fenton-like reagent could deliver selective Cu-Mo flotation results comparable to that of NaHS treatment at a lower dosage of H2O2 and a shorter conditioning time. Contact angle measurements and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) analysis were employed to understand the depressing mechanism of these oxidation treatments. It was found that the chalcopyrite surface covered by various oxidation products that render the surface hydrophilic. Meanwhile, the surface of molybdenite was slightly oxidized, making the surface remained hydrophobic. INTRODUCTION Molybdenite (MoS2), the main source of molybdenum, is associated with copper sulfide minerals, mainly chalcopyrite (CuFeS2), as a trace mineral. Molybdenite is a valuable mineral and plays an important role in making the copper-molybdenum (Cu-Mo) processing plant economically viable (Laskowski, Castro, & Ramos, 2013). Therefore, it is important to recover molybdenite efficiently and effectively and separate it from copper minerals. Conventional separation of copper and molybdenum minerals is usually carried out in selective Cu- Mo flotation process using a copper depressant (i.e., sodium hydrosulfide (NaHS), Noke’s reagent, or cyanides) (Ansari & Pawlik, 2007; Bulatovic, 2007). However, this process still suffers due to imperfect molybdenum recovery. Moreover, the copper depressants use in this process are toxic and harmful to the environment. As alternative, various methods have been developed to replace these toxic and hazardous depressants, for example, by synthesizing new non-toxic or low-toxic depressants or by using various oxidation methods such as sodium hypochlorite in an alkaline medium, manganese dioxide, oxygen, and plasma pre-treatment (United States Patent Office Patent No. US 2559104 A, 1951; Patent No. US2238250 A, 1941; Barzyk, Malysa, & Pomianowski, 1981; Hirajima et al., 2014). However, the oxidation phenomenon and mechanisms are still not clear since detailed surface analyses have not done and the plasma pre-treatment method is facing technical issues for industrial scale application.
Keywords: Copper 2019, COM2019