The Bureau of Mines developed and evaluated a detecting and sorting device to separate the copper-bearing portion from the barren portion of Michigan native copper ore in the minus 4- plus 1-inch size range. Small-scale sorting tests were also conducted on minus 1- plus 1/2-inch material from the Centennial No. 6 Mine, using a previously developed system that was modified to increase sensitivity. Results showed that, with the added sensitivity, 85 to 90 pct of the copper in the minus 1- plus 1/2-inch material could be recovered in about 50 to 60 pct of the fraction. Sorting tests on minus 4- plus 2-inch and minus 2- plus 1-inch fractions from the Centennial Mine were conducted with the large sorting system. Results showed that 86 to 93 pct of the copper was recovered in 43 to 64 wt-pct of the sorted fractions. Combining of concentrates from the two fractions resulted in a recovery of 90 pct of the copper in 55 pct of the weights. The composite concentrate contained 2.40 pct cu, and the tailing analyzed 0.33 pct cu; the head sample assayed 1.46 pct cu.
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