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Low-iron Cu-ni-co Matte from Duluth Complex Sulfide Concentrate by Direct Smelting.
Shah-ID; Ruzzi-PL; Schluter-RB
MISSING :10 pages
The copper-nickel ore of the Duluth Gabbro complex in northeastern Minnesota is a large potential domestic resource of cobalt and platinum-group metals. However, because of the low grade of the primary metal values (0.5 pct cu, 0.15 pct ni), the private sector has assigned a relatively low priority to the development of technology for processing this ore, anticipating that mining probably would not begin until the mid-1990's. Furthermore, preliminary processing flowsheets considered by the mining companies centered on the primary metal values. As part of an effort to help provide the basis for technology to recover critical and strategic minerals from domestic resources, the Bureau of Mines is investigating methods to recover all of the mineral values, in the Duluth Gabbro material, with particular attention to the byproduct critical minerals. A key step in this process is the removal of a relatively large amount of iron present in the bulk sulfi0e flotation concentrate to permit subsequent extraction of mineral values. This report describes a direct smelting method that removes most of the iron and produces a copper-nickel-cobalt matte, an intermediate product from which the metal values subsequently are separated. Copper, nickel, and cobalt grade and recovery data are presented for the direct smelting method. Test results showed that under certain conditions some of the mineral values reported to the slag, requiring slag cleaning to recover them.
IH; Report of Investigations