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Prompt Copper Recovery from Mine Strip Waste.

Madsen BW; Groves RD; Evans LG; Potter GM
NTIS: PB 241 215 :19 pages
Research by the Bureau of Mines has shown that treatment of open pit waste by crushing and sizing followed by flotation of the fines and leaching the coarse fraction results in greater metal recoveries than that obtained by leaching only. Tests with a chalcocite- bearing quartz monzonite mine waste sample that had been crushed to minus 6 inches and screened on 1/2 inch yielded copper and silver recoveries of 71 and 22 percent, respectively, by the combined flotation-leaching process, compared with 48 percent of the copper and no silver recovered leaching the run-of-mine material. Copper was more readily leached from the coarse material with the minus 1/2- inch fines removed than from material with the fines included. The improved leaching was attributed to improved permeability and the associated improved circulation of air to the interior of the ore column. Cost estimates showed that the proposed intensive treatment of mine waste will require a greater capital investment and higher annual operating costs than conventional milling and dump leaching process. However, the income from the additional metal production offsets the increase in capital investment and operating costs, resulting in additional profit.
Publication Date
Document Type
IH; Report of Investigation;
Fiscal Year
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
RI 8012
NIOSH Division
Source Name
NTIS: PB 241 215
Page last reviewed: November 26, 2021
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division