Investigation of Copper Recovery from a New Copper Deposit (Nussir) in Northern-Norway: Thionocarbamates and Xanthate-Thionocarbamate Blend as Collectors
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionMinerals. 2019, 9 (2), . 10.3390/min9020118
Norway has newly seen an upsurge of interest in exploiting its mineral deposits influenced by fresh Government focus and survey support for previously under-prospected areas. One of the major areas of interest is a huge copper deposit, operated by Nussir ASA, located in the Repparfjord tectonic window in the Caledonides of west Finnmark. The latest mineral resource estimation is from July 2014, which states that Nussir consists of 5.8 million tonnes of indicated resources and 60.2 million tonnes of inferred resources, giving 66 million tonnes of copper ore. This paper represents the first study on processing characteristics of this ore to date. Our parallel studies using xanthates and dithiophosphates as collectors for Nussir ore flotation examined the grade and recovery of copper, silver, gold, and platinum group (PGM) minerals. Therefore, in this subsequent study, a chelating agent n-Butoxycarbonyl-O-n-butyl thionocarbamate (BBT) is used as a collector and it was found that the recovery and grades of the economically interesting minerals are improved at as low as 2 × 10−5 M collector concentration. Zeta potential, Hallimond flotation and adsorption studies were initially performed in order to assess the selective interaction of BBT and its blend with SIBX (Sodium Isobutyl xanthate) on the three copper minerals of the ore. The bench scale flotation experiments were performed using mixtures of xanthate and thionocarbamate collectors of the Nussir ore and both the resulting copper recovery and grade employing these collector mixtures is observed to be 2–8% superior to the use of a single collector system. Additionally, the current study revealed that the metallurgical results are strongly influenced by the ratio of the collectors in the mixture and particularly the sequence of the collector addition.