Studies on multi-gravity separator for rejection of acid insolubles in a copper concentrate

K.U. Bhaskar*, K.K. Rao, B. Govindarajan, J.P. Barnwal and T.C. Rao

Regional Research Laboratory (CSIR), Hoshangabad Road, Bhopal-462026, India

Accepted 6 September 2004


The copper ore from Malanjkhand, India is of very low grade in nature with major amounts of quartz as gangue. In addition to chalcopyrite, the ore also contains oxidized copper minerals in considerable amounts. During flotation, these oxidized minerals require additional amounts of reagents for reporting into concentrate. Higher reagent dosage not only floats the oxidized copper minerals but also results in collection of high amounts of acid insolubles in the copper concentrate resulting in inferior metallurgical grade. To alleviate this problem it was planned to process the copper flotation concentrate further in a Multi-Gravity Separator (MGS), exploiting the specific gravity differential between the copper bearing minerals and the associated gangue under enhanced gravitational fields. A 33 full factorial set of experimental design was used to understand the effect of change in important MGS variables on copper and acid insolubles grade and copper recovery in the concentrate. The results have indicated that an increase in wash water and drum inclination and a decrease in drum revolutions will increase copper grade, decrease the acid insolubles grade and decrease the copper metal recovery in the concentrate. Statistical analysis of the results have indicated that among the variables studied, the change in drum revolution influences the metallurgical results most followed by drum inclination and wash water. Further, the equations developed have indicated that there is complex inter-actional effects between wash water, drum inclination and drum revolutions which influences the metallurgical values to a considerable extent.

Keywords: Acid insolubles; Multi-gravity separator; Copper flotation concentrate

* Corresponding author
   E-mail : kubhaskar2001@yahoo.com