Preconcentration of native copper and porphyry copper ores by electronic sorting.
Amiller-VR; Nash-RW; Schwaneke-AE
Min Eng 1978 Aug; 30(8):1194-1201
The Bureau of Mines developed a detector for controlling sorting devices to separate the copper-bearing fragments from the barren portion of Michigan native copper and western porphyry copper ores. A successful sorter could be used to preconcentrate the ore and eliminate costly hoisting or hauling of waste. An induction balance unit was developed and used in sorting tests on crushed size minus 2.5 Plus 1.3 Cm (minus 1 plus 1/2 inch) ores from the Kingston (0.9 pct cu) and Centennial (1.6 pct cu) Mines of upper Michigan. Concentrates of 4.0 pct and 7.5 pct cu were obtained at recoveries of 85 and 80 pct of the copper in the feed. Eighty percent of the sorted ore was rejected as tailing. Sorting larger fragments improved the separation efficiency. Tests on minus 10 plus 5 cm (minus 4 plus 2 inches) size Kingston (1.6 pct cu) and Centennial (2.1 pct cu) ore samples yielded concentrates of 4.3 and 4.5 pct cu with corresponding recoveries of 92 and 91 pct. About 60 pct of the sorted ore was discarded as tailing. Porphyry copper sulfide ores also responded to electronic sorting but at a lower separation efficiency. Sorting response was affected by the degree of segregation.
OP; Journal Article