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Cobalt and nickel recovery from Missouri lead belt chalcopyrite concentrates.

Clifford RK; Higley LW Jr.
Rolla, MO: U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Mines, RI 8321, 1978 Jan; :1-14
Chalcopyrite (CuFeS2) concentrates produced on the lead belt of Missouri typically contain 28 pct Cu and from 0.5 to 1.5 pct each of nickel and cobalt. Most of the nickel and cobalt are present as the mineral siegenite, (Ni,Co)3S4, almost none of which is recovered presently. The Bureau of Mines, U.S. Department of the Interior, has been conducting research on the chalcopyrite to produce a marketable fraction enriched in cobalt and nickel. Ferric chloride leaching of various chalcopyrite (copper) concentrates has yielded residues containing from 10.2 to 16.2 pct Ni and 8.3 to 11.4 pct Co with recoveries of approximately 79 pct. In another approach, laboratory froth-flotation tests have been conducted to investigate the effects of regrinding, roasting, baking, and steaming prior to flotation, with a variety of reagents. The best laboratory results were obtained after regrinding the copper concentrate to 94 pct minus 400 mesh and floating the chalcopyrite at natural Ph (6.5) With 0.48 pound of sodium diethyldithiophosphate and 0.01 pound of sodium cyanide per ton of concentrate. This procedure yielded a tailings assaying 20.4 pct Cu, 5.2 pct Ni, and 3.45 pct carbon monoxide. The tailings contained 67.2 pct of the nickel and cobalt and 15.9 pct of the copper originally in the copper concentrate; the remainder of the values reported to the flotation concentrate, which analyzed 29.6 pct Cu. To verify the laboratory flotation results, a 60-kg/hr process demonstration unit (PDU) was constructed in the Cominco American Magmont Mill, Bixby, Missouri.
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Reno, NV: U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Mines, RI 8321
Page last reviewed: November 26, 2021
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division