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Beneficiation Methods of Copper Nickel Sulfide Ore

timeApr 11,2022

The ore types of copper-nickel sulfide ore are mainly magmatic-melted copper-nickel ore. When the nickel content is more than 3 %, it is rich and can be directly smelted. When the nickel content is less than 3 %, it needs beneficiation treatment. When the nickel ore content is less than 3 %, it is mainly accompanied by a large number of metal minerals and gangue minerals.

Metallic minerals: magnetic pyrite, nickel pyrite, copper pyrite are more,  magnetite, pyrite, ilmenite, chromite, chalcocite, covellite, chalcocite, bornite, and platinum group ore are less.

Gangue mineral: Vein minerals: olivine, pyroxene, plagioclase, talc, serpentine, chlorite, Yangqi, and mica, some also contain quartz and carbonate.

The copper in the copper-nickel sulfide ore mainly exists in the form of chalcopyrite, and the nickel mainly exists in the form of free nickel sulfides such as pyrrhotite, needle nickel sulfide ore, and purplish nickel-iron ore. In addition, most nickel occurs in pyrrhotite as isomorphism. Therefore, the commonly used beneficiation method for copper-nickel sulfide ore is the flotation method, the method is as follows :

1. Direct ( or Partial ) preferential flotation method

Direct or partial preferential flotation is to separate the copper ore into separate concentrate, which is mostly used in the case of high copper content.

The main feature of this method is that it can directly obtain copper concentrate with low nickel content.

2. Mixed flotation method

The mixed flotation method is mainly the mixed flotation of copper and nickel from the ore, and then the copper concentrate with low nickel and the copper-nickel concentrate is separated from the mixed concentrate. The obtained copper-nickel concentrate can be directly smelted into high nickel ice, and then the high nickel ice is separated by flotation. This method is mainly suitable for separating copper-nickel ore with low copper content.

3. Mixed priority flotation method

Mixed preferred flotation method, copper and nickel mixed flotation, and then from the mixed flotation tailings recovery of nickel process.

The mixed optimum flotation method is mainly used under the condition of the large differences in floatability of various nickel minerals in the ore.

Note: There is a basic principle in the selection of flotation method for copper-nickel sulfide ore, that is, copper should not be allowed to enter the nickel concentrate, nor should nickel be lost in the process of copper separation, because nickel in copper concentrate is relatively large in the smelting process, and copper in nickel concentrate smelting can be recycled.


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