The Effect Of Microwave Radiation On The Processing Of Palabora Copper Ore

Kingman, S. W.
Organization: The Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 8
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2000
The effect of microwave radiation on the processing of Palabora open pit ore has been investigated. Significant reductions in Bond work index are demonstrated for microwave treated samples. Reductions in work index were found to be sensitive to applied power level and method of application. After single stage magnetic separation tests, improvements in recovery of FeO were noted. However, these were curtailed by oxidation of the magnetite species as a result of continued heating. The effects of microwave radiation upon the recovery of copper after froth flotation were also quantified. Small initial increases in recovery of copper were note dafter microwave treatment. However, with prolonged exposure, recovery was found to decrease. Overall recovery of copper was not affected except for samples treated for extended duration. The influence of microwave treatment upon the conventional Palabora grinding circuit has been quantified with the use of USIMPAC software. Conclusions are made regarding the economics of microwave treatment for this ore. Keywords : Microwave; Grinding; Magnetic Separation; Flotation; Economic Analysis
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