Materials Transactions Online

Materials Transactions, Vol.52 No.04 (2011) pp.746-752
© 2011 The Mining and Materials Processing Institute of Japan

Investigation of a Flotation Process with De-Sliming and Attrition to Upgrade and Recover Cu and Mo from a Cu-Mo Flotation Tailing

Jan Pana Rabatho1, William Tongamp1, Atsushi Shibayama1, Yasushi Takasaki2, Sachihito Nitta3 and Tetsuo Imai4

1Faculty of Engineering and Resource Science, Akita University, Akita 010-8502, Japan
2International Center for Research and Education on Mineral and Energy Resources, Akita University, Akita 010-8502, Japan
3Nippon Eirich Co., Ltd., Tower Mill Business Department, Narita 287-0225, Japan
4Consultant Tetsuo Imai PE Office, Funabashi 273-0037, Japan

In some (Cu-Mo) mines around the world, Mo recovery is low due to poor liberation, fine dissemination in gangue minerals, and losses of Cu and Mo to tailing streams. Studies to recover these materials as a new resource will increasingly become an attractive option. In the current study, a flotation tailing sample obtained from a mine recovering only 40% Mo was re-floated to upgrade Cu and Mo. The sample containing 0.07% Cu and 0.01% Mo, was used in the study and the goal was to improve the grades to over 2.0% Cu and 0.5% Mo, to obtain an additional feed for the flotation process. Sodium aluminium silicate (NaAlSi3O8) and quartz (SiO2) were observed as the dominant mineral phases. The original samples were milled and screened to pass 105 μm screen to be used in the subsequent tests. To evaluate the efficiency of the process, both single and multi-stage flotation steps including de-sliming for the removal of fines and attrition for surface activation, together with other parameters (pH, PAX concentration, time) were performed. Based on the experimental results, a four-stage flotation process allowed the improvement of Cu and Mo grades to 1.63% and 0.24% respectively. A single-stage flotation process with de-sliming and attrition stages before flotation with PAX and MIBC concentrations of 40 g/t improved Cu and Mo grades to 2.07% and 0.64%, with a recovery of 48.60% and 65.97% respectively.

(Received 2010/5/28; Accepted 2011/1/31; Published 2011/4/1)

Keywords: copper, molybdenum, flotation, flotation tailings, de-sliming, attrition

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