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Optimization of a Copper/Molybdenum Flotation Circuit by Depressing Pyrite from the Rougher Flotation Stage Using Different Scheme of Reagents
AuthorValderrama, Wander Alexis
AdvisorNesbitt, Carl C.
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A study to determine methods to hinder the flotation of pyrite, other than the specific use of lime, in rougher flotation was conducted. Specifically, the goal was to determine an effective alternative to pH adjustment using lime. Experiments were conducted using the most common selection of reagents: xanthate and lime to recover copper and reject iron to establish a base test to compare other reagent schemes with. This work included flotation reagents such as dithiophosphate, thiocarbamate, and AERO 3302 promoter as chalcopyrite collectors, fuel oil as molybdenite collector, and sodium sulfite, zinc sulfate, calcium hydroxide and potassium dichromate as pyrite depressants from a literature review and expert suggestions. Of the reagents tested, potassium dichromate was included as a modification to simulate chrome grinding media effect. Some studies have documented that there is a galvanic interaction between the grinding media – sulfide mineral system that affects the recovery of copper. Thus, researchers have used chrome grinding media resulting in better recoveries. Due to manufacturing issues, this study could not perform tests using chrome grinding media. Thus, it implemented the use of potassium dichromate as a depressant instead of replacing the forged steel grinding media.