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Effect of Desliming on Flotation Response of Kansanshi Mixed Copper Ore

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Document pages: 20 pages

Abstract: The Kansanshi mixed copper sulfide-oxide ore contains significant proportions of fine material manifesting in a variety of processing challenges. This paper presents the work which was carried out to evaluate the efficacy of desliming in improving the flotation response of the ore. Two modes of desliming were investigated, namely; sieving and elutriation after which the deslimed material was subjected to Kansanshi standard laboratory flotation conditions. The minimum copper feed grade for the mixed copper ore was 0.5 Total Copper (TCu). The outcome of this work has shown that desliming improves the flotation response of the Kansanshi mixed copper ore. At a rougher copper concentrate grade of 8 , copper metal recoveries obtained with desliming were in excess of 70 compared to 58 achieved with baseline tests without desliming. It was further observed that desliming resulted in improved flotation rates for the sulfide minerals. For a flotation time of 3 minutes, recoveries of 69 and 74 were obtained with elutriation and sieving respectively compared to 58 recovery for baseline tests. From the same results it was also evident that, of the two modes of desliming investigated, sieving yielded better performance than elutriation.

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