Mineralogical Control Of Minerals Processing Circuit Design

Bryson, M. A. W.
Organization: The Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 4
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2004
Platinum group metals are extracted almost exclusively in South Africa from three very different zones in the Bushveld Igneous Complex, called the Plat, Merensky, and the UG-2 reefs. The Plat reef is currently being exploited only by Anglo American Platinum, whereas the Merensky reef is exploited by them, Impala Platinum, Northam, and Lonplats. The UG-2 reef, on the other hand, is also processed by these producers, but Kroondal and Barplats have operations that exclusively treat ore from this reef. At present the extraction of pgms from ores in South Africa follows the traditional route of upgrading to a concentrate in a minerals processing circuit, further upgrading to a matte in a smelter, and final upgrading and separation of the individual metals in a refinery. Thus all operations that extract pgms require a minerals processing circuit, the design and performance of which is a topic of much interest, as it is a poorly understood and not a very efficient process in relative terms, compared to the other processes. Recoveries across the minerals processing circuit of between 75 and 90% are the norm.
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