Separation of copper flotation concentrates into density fractions by means of polytungstate aqueous solution
1 Wroclaw University of Science and Technology, Faculty of Geoengineering, Mining and Geology, Wybrzeze Wyspianskiego 27, 50-370 Wroclaw, Poland
2 Institute of Geological Sciences, University of Wroclaw, Pl. Maksa Borna 9, 50-205 Wroclaw, Poland
a Corresponding author: email@example.com
Industrial and laboratory flotation copper concentrates were subjected to separation into density fractions by means of heavy liquids in the form of sodium polytungstate aqueous solutions. For two samples, three densities factions were created, however in different density ranges. The density fractions were analyzed to establish the content of copper, lead, silver and organic carbon. The size of particles in both samples was similar (90-95% −0.071 mm). It was found that the lightest density fractions −2.45 and −2.0 g/cm3 still contained sulfide minerals scattered in the organic carbon bearing particles. Removal of the lightest density fraction (−2.0 g/cm3) from the industrial concentrate samples led to considerable reduction of organic carbon (92%) and increasing its quality from 13 to 28% Cu. The mineralogical analysis of the heavy liquid separation products showed that most sulfide minerals were evenly dissemination in the heaviest density fractions with the recovery of 95-98%. The lightest density fraction of −2.0 g/cm3, being the richest in organic carbon, contained approximately 3% of unliberated sulfide minerals.
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