Materials Transactions Online

Materials Transactions, Vol.53 No.04 (2012) pp.707-715
© 2012 The Japan Institute of Metals

Investigation of Flotation Parameters for Copper Recovery from Enargite and Chalcopyrite Mixed Ore

Kazutoshi Haga, William Tongamp and Atsushi Shibayama

Faculty of Engineering and Resource Science, Akita University, Akita 010-8502, Japan

A flotation pre-treatment study for the separation of enargite (Cu3AsS4) from chalcopyrite (CuFeS2) ores of different origins was investigated in this work. The copper ore bearing enargite mineral contained 5.87 mass% As and 16.50 mass% Cu while the chalcopyrite bearing ore contained 0.32 mass% As and 21.63 mass% Cu. The two ore samples were mixed at 7 : 3 (enargite : chalcopyrite) by weight ratio to prepare a mixed ore sample with As content at 3.16 and 18.25 mass% Cu for the flotation study. Effect of particle size, slurry pH, flotation time, collector type, collector addition or dosage and depressants were investigated to evaluate efficiency of enargite separation from chalcopyrite and recovery of both minerals as separate concentrates. For enargite single ore flotation, the 38-75 ┬Ám size fraction showed that over 98% of enargite was selectively recovered within 5 min at slurry pH of 4 and As content in the final tailings was reduced to 0.22 mass%. In mix ore (enargite + chalcopyrite) flotation, 97% of enargite was first removed at pH 4 followed by chalcopyrite flotation at pH 8, and over 95% recovery was achieved in 15 min flotation time. The As content in the final tailings was reduced to 0.1 mass%.

(Received 2011/11/18; Accepted 2012/01/06; Published 2012/03/25)

Keywords: enargite, chalcopyrite, arsenic, flotation, copper resource

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