Reagent Optimization for Improved Selectivity of Floating Copper Minerals against Pyrite

Additonal authors: Ji, J.. 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

Shi, A.

Floating copper minerals selectively against iron minerals such as pyrite has been challenging for most copper and copper/gold deposits, and many operations continuously strive to maximise copper recovery whilst meeting target concentrate grades. Maximising grade is achieved by selectively floating copper minerals and rejecting pyrite. This challenge is to minimise copper and gold losses in the roughers if this approach is used. A flotation testing program was conducted by Bureau Veritas Minerals on a high-level pyrite bearing copper/gold ore sample to establish the potential to reject pyrite in the rougher stage, but also maximise copper and gold recoveries, and ultimately final product grades. The test program included feed characterization, rougher and open-circuit cleaner flotation as well as locked cycle flotation tests. The main variables tested for achieving selective flotation of copper and gold were collector type and pH control, through lime addition. Grind sizes used in the rougher and cleaner tests had been established from previous test work. The collectors tested were SIPX, Aerophine® 3418A, Aerophine® 3421, Aerophine® 3422, Reagent S-11192 Promoter, Reagent S-11193 Promoter and FloMin C4150. The two best performing collectors were then tested in open-circuit cleaner tests, with the optimum conditions examined further in locked cycle tests. INTRODUCTION Bureau Veritas Minerals Metallurgical Division was retained by Eldorado Gold Corporation to perform a metallurgical testing program on a high-level pyrite bearing copper/gold ore sample from a gold- copper porphyry deposit to optimize flotation reagent scheme to improve gold and copper recoveries and copper content in the concentrate. The test program included feed characterization, rougher and open-circuit cleaner flotation as well as locked cycle flotation tests. Initially, various collectors were screened in kinetic rougher tests, and over a pH range of 8.5 (i.e the natural ore pH) up to 11.5, using a primary grind size of 80% passing 120 µm. The collectors tested were SIPX (sodium isopropyl xanthate), Aerophine® 3418A, Aerophine® 3421, Aerophine® 3422, Reagent S-11192 Promoter, Reagent S-11193 Promoter and FloMin C4150. The enrichment ratio, which is the ratio of copper to sulfur in the concentrate to that in the feed, was used as proxy for rating selectivity (i.e. degree of pyrite rejection or depression).
Mots Clés: Copper 2019, COM2019
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