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Home News Copper sulfide ore and copper oxide beneficiation methods

Copper sulfide ore and copper oxide beneficiation methods

135 21.Feb.2024 KZ Editor

Copper ores on the earth mainly include natural copper, sulfide ores, and oxide ores. Sulfide ores can be further subdivided into chalcopyrite, bornite, chalcocite, etc.; oxide ores can be divided into azurite, cuprite, malachite, etc. Depending on the type of ore, different mineral processing processes are selected. This article mainly describes copper sulfide ore and copper oxide ore.

There are many kinds of copper ore in nature, and the mineral structure is also complex and diverse. The particle size is unequal, and the particle size spans three grades: medium, micro and fine, with medium and fine particles being the main ones. This embedded characteristic and structure directly affects the dissociation of mineral monomers. Therefore, the degree of dissociation of copper mineral monomers is poor and requires finer grinding fineness.

Generally speaking, modern methods include flotation, microbial leaching, separation and mineral processing, etc. A single sulfide ore is mostly treated by flotation. The crushing-grinding-grading-flotation-concentration process is used to select a single copper sulfide ore into a copper concentrate. However, due to the development and utilization of ore resources, the properties of ores have become increasingly complex. Therefore, sulfide ores containing polymetals can be processed by a variety of beneficiation processes, such as: mixed flotation, priority flotation, mixed priority flotation, flotation-heavy combined beneficiation, flotation-magnetic combined beneficiation, flotation beneficiation - hydrometallurgy, beneficiation, etc.

In terms of ore composition, copper sulfide ore is relatively complex, with chalcocite and chalcocite as the main copper minerals. Among them, chalcocite has better floatability, while chalcocite is difficult to suppress. Effective inhibition can only be achieved under highly alkaline conditions. In the process of sulfide ore processing, the more important part is the separation of sulfur and copper. When facing copper sulfide ore with more complex composition, the grinding time can be appropriately extended so that the ore itself can be effectively dissociated into monomers, but it must be Mainly to avoid the occurrence of over-grinding. Over-grinding will cause the oxidation of copper, making it difficult to recycle the copper itself. Therefore, when processing complex copper sulfide ores, the medium ore regrinding process is often added to further dissociate the ores.

The treatment method for copper oxide ore with simple composition is simpler than that of sulfide ore. Flotation-hydro-smelting ore beneficiation method, segregation-flotation combined beneficiation method, etc. can be adopted. The more difficult-to-select copper oxide ore can be processed by leaching. In terms of the current technical level, the acid leaching and ammonia leaching technologies of copper oxide are relatively mature and widely used, but the effect when dealing with fine-grained refractory minerals has not yet reached the ideal state. With the reduction of easily separated ores, the use of chemical leaching or flotation-chemical leaching combined processes has become the main direction of copper oxide ore beneficiation technology in the future.

Next, let’s take a look at the copper ore beneficiation process adopted in practical applications. A refractory copper sulfide ore in Anhui has complex properties. The main minerals include chalcopyrite, pyrite, pyrrhotite, magnetite, etc. Some copper ores also exist in the form of copper oxide and bound copper. After experimental research, the reverse flotation-copper-sulfur mixed flotation-copper-sulfur separation process flow was adopted, in which ethyl xanthate and Z-200 were used as the composite collector for the re-selection of sulfide ores, so that during the flotation process The selectivity is guaranteed and is conducive to obtaining a higher recovery rate. The grade of copper concentrate obtained in the test was 22.78%, and the recovery rate was 86.8%.

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