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Characterization and Flotation of Sulfur from Chalcopyrite Concentrate Leaching Residue

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DOI: 10.4236/jmmce.2003.21001    5,861 Downloads   8,034 Views   Citations
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H. K. Lin


Mineral Industry Research Laboratory University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, AK 99775-7240.


Elemental sulfur produced by chloride leaching of sulfide ores or concentrates contains selenium and tellurium usually too high to be used in various industrial or agricultural uses. The sulfur in the leaching residue can be upgraded to 90% in grade by froth flotation and the sulfur concentration can be followed by sulfur purification and selenium and tellurium removal. The sulfur in the leaching is in a form of discrete particles with a size range of 5 to 10 microns. The sulfur particles tend to agglomerate in the pulp and hence mechanically entrap gangue minerals. With sodium silicate as the dispersant as well as the depressant for siliceous material, a sulfur concentrate of 90% in grade and 90% in recovery can be obtained with a single-stage froth flotation. The flotation reagent consumptions are minimum. The majority of chalcopyrite remains in the sulfur flotation tailings and can be readily recovered by flotation with different flotation reagents. When amyl xanthate is used, 85% of chalcopyrite can be recovered with a copper grade of 14.5% in a single-stage froth flotation. The chalcopyrite flotation concentrate can be sent back to chloride leaching circuits.


Elemental sulfur, sodium silicate, dispersant, depressant

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H. Lin, "Characterization and Flotation of Sulfur from Chalcopyrite Concentrate Leaching Residue," Journal of Minerals and Materials Characterization and Engineering, Vol. 2 No. 1, 2003, pp. 1-9. doi: 10.4236/jmmce.2003.21001.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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