Sulphide copper ores are normally concentrated by flotation while the oxide ores undergo hydrometallurgical treatments. The mixed sulphide-oxide copper ores may be processed by combined methods such as flotation followed by leaching and precipitation of the oxidized portion, or vice-versa. Also a Leach-Precipitation-Float
EXECUTIVE SUMMARYA Metallurgical Laboratory had completed preliminary economic studies on various processing options applicable to the Minerals Project in South America, containing oxide, transition and sulfide ore reserves. These included heap leaching with SX-EW; use of Roast-Leach-EW of sulfide concentrates to produce CuSO4 crystals; and potential application of the Leach-Precipitation-Flotation (LPF) option to treat all the three ores from Deposit. The results of the above studies indicated that the potential use of LPF provided the best preliminary economics. Based on the above premise, Minerals authorized Metallurgical Testing Laboratory to undertake an in depth study to confirm the practical and economic viability of the proposed LPF process for treating the ores under a two-phased project. The results of the initial H2SO4 consumption tests under Phase I of the project indicated that while the amount of acid required for oxide and transition ores were reasonable (94.6 lbs/ton and 155.2 lbs/ton respectively) the acid consumption for sulfide ore was very high (588.6 lbs/ton). Based on this fact, it was jointly (Metallurgical Testing Laboratory) decided to exclude the sulfide ores from the proposed LPF process. Thus, the sulfide ores will be treated by the conventional sulfide flotation process as planned. The first step in ….Read more
The LPF process is uses for treatment of copper ores in which part or all of the copper occurs in oxidized form presents a problem for recovery. Sulphidization of the oxidized copper minerals using sodium sulphide or sodium sulphydrate is sometimes effective to render the minerals floatable, but generally sulphidization techniques produce low recoveries.