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In this post, we're going to talk about how to extract nickel from copper-nickel sulfide ore.
This post would include:
Differential flotation or partial differential flotation process
Bulk flotation process
Bulk-differential flotation process
Bulk-differential flotation process, and recover part of nickel from the flotation tailings
Let's dive right in!
Froth flotation process is the main mineral processing method used in the extraction of copper-nickel sulfide ore, while the magnetic separation process and gravity separation process are usually used as the auxiliary mineral processing methods.
For the froth flotation process of copper-nickel sulfide ore, the collector and foaming agents of copper sulfide ore are often used. A basic principle for determining the froth flotation process is to make the copper into the nickel concentrate and avoid the nickel into the copper concentrate as far as possible. Because the nickel in the copper concentrate loses a lot in the smelting process, while the copper in the nickel concentrate are recovered completely. Here are four processes used in the froth flotation process of copper-nickel sulfide ore.
When the content of copper is much more than nickel in the ore, this process can be used to separate the copper as the single concentrate. The advantage of this process is that the copper concentrate with lower nickel content can be obtained directly.
Bulk flotation process is used to separate ores containing less copper than nickel, and the copper-nickel mixed concentrate can be directly smelted into high-ice nickel.
The copper and nickel are separated from the ore, and then the mixed concentrate is separated as the copper concentrate containing low nickel and the nickel concentrate containing copper. After the nickel concentrate is smelted, the high-ice nickel is obtained and then separated by the froth flotation process.
When the floatability of various nickel minerals in ore is very different, the nickel minerals with poor floatability can be recovered from the tailings after the mixed flotation of copper and nickel.
Copper is a harmful impurity in nickel smelting, and the copper in the copper-nickel sulfide ore has industrial recovery value, so copper-nickel separation technology is an important subject in copper-nickel ore dressing.
The copper-nickel separation technology is divided into copper-nickel mixed concentrate separation and high-ice nickel separation technology.
Generally, the former is used for ores with coarse mineral size and not closely interwoven with each other, while the latter is used for ores with fine mineral size and very dense interwoven with each other.