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Distribution of Sulfide and Oxide Copper in Copper Mill Tailings.
NTIS: PB 199 041 :19 pages
Studies were made to determine the character and distribution of the copper lost in copper mill tailings. Acid soluble (oxide) and acid insoluble (sulfide) copper were determined for heavy-liquid sink and float products of screen-sized fractions from 12 copper mill tailings. In most of the tailings studied, the coarse-size fractions are higher in copper grade than the respective bulk tailings, high in sulfide copper, and low in oxide copper. Oxide copper occurs predominantly in the minus 325-mesh "slimes." Microscopic examination of heavy-liquid sink products indicated that recovery of liberated copper sulfide minerals is complete in most mills, and that copper minerals not being recovered are locked with gangue particles. Additional copper could probably be recovered from most tailings by size classification, scavenger froth flotation of the coarse fraction, and regrinding of the concentrate to achieve liberation of the locked sulfides.
IH; Report of Investigation;
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS: PB 199 041
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division