The copper ore in Chilean copper porphyry deposits is often associated with molybdenum minerals. This copper–molybdenum (Cu–Mo) sulfide ore is generally mined from various locations in the mining site; thus, the mineral composition, oxidation degree, mineral particle size, and grade vary. Therefore, in the mining operation, it is common to blend the ores mined from various spots and then process them using flotation. In this study, the floatability of five types of Cu–Mo ores and the blending of these ores in seawater was investigated. The oxidation degree of these Cu–Mo ores was evaluated, and the correlation between flotation recovery and oxidation degree is presented. Furthermore, the flotation kinetics of each Cu–Mo ore were calculated based on a mineralogical analysis using mineral liberation analysis (MLA). A mineralogical prediction model was proposed to estimate the flotation behavior of blended Cu–Mo ore as a function of the flotation behavior of each Cu–Mo ore. The flotation results show that the recovery of copper and molybdenum decreased with the increasing copper oxidization degree. In addition, the recovery of blended ore can be pre-dicted via the flotation rate equation, using the maximum recovery (Rmax) and flotation rate coeffi-cient (k) determined from the flotation rate analysis of each ore before blending. It was found that Rmax and k of the respective minerals slightly decreased with increasing the degree of copper oxida-tion. Moreover, Rmax varied greatly depending on the mineral species. The total copper and molybdenum recovery were strongly affected by the degree of copper oxidation as the mineral fraction in the ore varied greatly depending upon the degree of oxidation.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology