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Copper Ore Flotation Process

Copper is one of the most important non-ferrous metals, which is usually separated by flotation in the production process. According to the ore oxidation rate, copper ore can be divided into copper sulfide, copper oxide and mixed copper ore. The flotation method of various copper ores will be different in the specific application process.

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1. Flotation method of copper sulfide

In general, copper sulfide mainly includes single copper sulfide and polymetallic copper sulfide. The former flotation process is generally simple, while the latter flotation process is complex.

A. Single copper sulfide flotation

The mineral composition of single copper sulfide is simple. Copper minerals mainly include chalcopyrite, chalcocite, bornite, copper blue and a small amount of copper oxide minerals. Gangue minerals vary with the type of deposit, mainly quartz, calcite, feldspar, dolomite, sericite, chlorite and so on. Due to the great difference in floatability between copper minerals and gangue minerals, flotation method is often used for separation.

Attention, due to the different occurrence of single copper sulfide ore, its structure and structure change greatly, resulting in the separation of copper ore and gangue monomer is difficult, grinding fineness becomes the key to affect the flotation index of single copper sulfide ore. Generally, there are three main flotation processes for single copper sulfide ore: one-stage grinding – flotation process, one-stage grinding – flotation – coarse concentrate re-grinding process, and two-stage grinding – two-stage (or one-stage) flotation process.

B. Flotation of polymetallic copper sulfide ores

Generally, polymetallic copper sulfide not only contains a variety of copper minerals, but also often with pyrite, galena, sphalerite and other minerals symbiosis, mineral structure and composition is complex, the symbiosis between minerals is dense. Based on the above ore characteristics, the flotation process of polymetallic copper sulfide mainly includes the following types: multi-stage flotation process, priority flotation process by step, flotation and mixed concentrate separation process, and equal flotation process.

2. Flotation method of copper oxide

Flotation is the main separation method of modern copper oxide. According to the different properties of copper oxide ores can be divided into direct flotation and sulfide flotation.

A. Direct flotation of copper oxide

The direct flotation method of copper oxide is processed by catcher, including fatty acid flotation method and amine collector flotation method. It is often used in copper oxide ores with simple structure and simple properties.

B. Sulfide flotation of copper oxide

Copper oxide sulfide flotation methods mainly include conventional sulfide flotation and hydrothermal sulfide flotation.

3. Flotation method of mixed copper ore

Mixed copper ore dressing generally adopts sulfide flotation method. There are two kinds of process: copper sulfide is selected first, and copper oxide minerals are selected after the tailings are vulcanized. And after the use of sulfide copper oxide minerals and copper sulfide surfaced simultaneously.

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