Flotation and tailing discarding of copper cobalt sulfide ores based on the process mineralogy characteristics

Wentao Hu, Kai Tian, Zhengyang Zhang, Jiuchuan Guo, Xinwei Liu, Hongdong Yu, Huajun Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The mineral composition of copper–cobalt ores is more complex than that of copper sul-fides, and it is also difficult to discard tailing efficiently in primary flotation for the fine-grained disseminated of ore. In this work, a mineral liberation analyzer (MLA) was employed to study the characteristics of minerals. As a significant mineralogical characteristic, the liberation degree of use-ful mineral aggregates was determined after grinding, and a correlation was established between the ore grinding size and mineralogical characteristics. The results showed that the adopted ore occurred in sulfide form. However, the particle size of the mineral’s monomer was fine grained, whereas its aggregate was coarse. The sulfide mineral aggregate obtained after primary grinding was selected as the recovery object, and its mineralogical characteristics, such as liberation degree and particle size, were investigated to promote total recovery in primary flotation. The copper– cobalt sulfide concentration was obtained at the following optimal conditions: the grinding size of −0.074 mm (65%), the aggregate’s liberation degree of 67%, a collector dosage of 50 g·t−1, a collector combination of 35% aerofloat + 65% butyl xanthate, a pH of 8.5, and 2# oil (a terpineol type foaming agent) dosage of 60 g·t−1. The recovered rough Cu and Co concentrates were 89.45% and 88.03%, respectively. Moreover, the grades of Cu and Co were 13.4% and 4.81%, respectively, with 85.07% of the ore weight discarded as tailing. The consideration of sulfide aggregates instead of singeral minerals mineralogy characters in primary grinding and primary flotation provides an effective theoretical guide for the sorting of sulfide minerals and reduction in the power consumption of grinding.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1078
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Oct


  • Gene mineral processing engineering
  • Mineral gene fragment
  • Mineral liberation analyzer (MLA)
  • Tailing discarding

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Geology


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