Platinum group and arsenide minerals in copper-nickel sulfide bearing Duluth gabbro and their flotation recoveries

Iwasaki, I. ; Malicsi, A. S. ; Nakazawa, H. ; Reid, K. J. ; Ryan, P. J. ; Weiblen, P. W.
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 6
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1987
Precious metals are commonly believed to be recovered along with sulfide minerals in flotation, but a few neutron activation analyses showed that the recoveries of gold and silver were unexpectedly low. Reasons for low recoveries of platinum group metals remained unresolved due to interferences in the analyses. Electron microprobe, scanning electron microscope, and scanning Auger microprobe analyses have identified nickel arsenide minerals in the ore and confirmed a close association of platinum group metals with the arsenide minerals as minute inclusions. These results indicated a need for re-evaluation of flotation procedures that have so far ignored special problems related to arsenide minerals. The electrochemical and flotation behaviors of nickel arsenide and their application to the flotation recoveries of precious metals from copper-nickel bearing Duluth gabbro are presented.
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