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ArticleName Laboratory studies to develop a new method for treatment of bulk sulfide concentrate before selective separation
DOI 10.17580/tsm.2020.06.04
ArticleAuthor Lesnikova L. S., Datsiyev M. S., Sisina A. N., Chikildin D. Ye.

Company “Nornickel”, Norilsk, Russia:

L. S. Lesnikova, Head of the Laboratory of Engineering Support of Production at Talnakh Concentrator, Center for Engineering Support of Production, Candidate of Engineering Sciences, e-mail:
M. S. Datsiyev, Chief Engineer of Talnakh Concentrator, e-mail:
A. N. Sisina, Leading process engineer of the Laboratory of Engineering Support of Production at Talnakh Concentrator, Center for Engineering Support of Production, e-mail:
D. Ye. Chikildin, Deputy Chief Engineer – Head of a Department at Talnakh Concentrator, e-mail:


Separation of bulk concentrates is accompanied by difficulties in their conditioning for further selective separation. Collectors are to be removed from mineral surface that implies either power-consuming steam treatment or use of large amounts of expensive desorbents. A blend of high-grade, cupriferous and disseminated ores of the Talnakhskoye and the Oktyabrskoye deposits is processed using bulk-selective technology at Talnakh Concentrator. Before separation, bulk concentrate is treated with sodium sulfide followed by sorption of the desorbed collector (butyl xanthate) by activated carbon from liquid phase. This method is expensive and requires large amounts of sodium sulfide (1.00–1.40 kg/t) and activated carbon (0.4–0.7 kg/t). Delivery of the specified materials means significant logistic load considering Talnakh Concentrator’s annual processing capacity of over 10 mtpa. An exploratory research done by the specialists of the Engineering Support Center has shown that it is possible to treat bulk copper-nickel concentrate with sulfuric acid. Such treatment results in the decomposition of xanthate layer on the mineral surface. Thus, much less activated carbon is required to remove the residual concentration during sorption. In order to specify the operation parameters, pilot tests were carried out on the Concentrator’s pilot mini-plant using acid produced at the Polar Division of company “Nornickel” The pilot tests showed that after sodium sulfide was substituted with sulfuric acid during desorption, bulk concentrate was successfully separated. The selectivity index for copper concentrate production averaged 170.8%, the distribution coefficient of copper and nickel into corresponding concentrates was 81.9 and 62.0%, respectively.

keywords Bulk concentrate, desorption, sulfuric acid, sodium sulfide, high-grade, cupriferous and disseminated ores blend, xanthate

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