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The Effects of Water Recycling on Flotation at a North American Concentrator—Part 1

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Document pages: 37 pages

Abstract: Water chemistry and its impact on mineral processingoperations are not well understood and often not adequately monitored.CanmetMINING, as part of its water management research program, has beeninvolved in a project initiated to identify opportunities for improving waterrecovery, water treatment, and recycling in the mining and mineral processingoperations. One of the main objectives of this work is to evaluate and assesswater chemistry and identify factors that impact mineral recovery, concentrategrade, and metal extraction efficiencies in order to understand and mitigatenegative impacts of water recycling and improve process efficiency. Incollaboration with a North American concentrator, CanmetMINING has beeninvolved in assessing the water chemistry in the mill and evaluating waterrecycling options for select process streams to reduce fresh water intake andmaximize recycling. The overall goal of the project is to investigate optionsfor water recycling (increase the thickener overflow recirculation fromthickener overflow tank) without affecting nickel and copper metallurgy. Theresults of the sampling campaigns showed that the water chemistry of thestreams was fairly consistent throughout the year with no significant seasonalvariations. The laboratory tests illustrated that when higher quantities ofthickener overflow from thickener overflow were used, the nickel + copper gradeversus nickel recovery curves shifted towards lower values. These observationswere observed for the plant water samples obtained in April, June and August2019.

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