Comparison of the activation of sphalerite by copper and lead

Sui, C. C. ; Casuge, A. ; Finch, J. A. ; Lee, D.
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 9
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2000
The adsorption of copper and lead und their subsequent xanthate uptake were compared at pH 3.0, 6.0 and 9.2 on both fresh and oxidized sphalerite. The extent of adsorption and the rate of adsorption were strongly dependent on pH, with the highest adsorption of Cu and Pb being at pH 9.2. In the presence of both Cu and Pb, Cu adsorption was enhanced and Pb adsorption was suppressed. The adsorption kinetics of Cu and Pb were characterized by two- and three-stage adsorption processes, respectively. The exchange ratio of Cu to Zn was about one and that of Ph to Zn was greater than one and varied with pH. The uptake of xarlthate on "activated" sphalerite was dependent on pH. The rnaximum uptake was found to be at pH 6.0 for Cu-activated sphalerite artd at pH 9.2 for Pb-activated sphalerite. A measure of "activation strength" based on inetal ion adsorption and xanthate uptake was introduced. The activation strength of Cu to Pb was about one at acidic pH, but it was higher at neutral (pH -6) and alkaline (pH -3) conditions. The oxidation of sphalerite decreased Pb and, especially, Cu adsorption and decreased xanthate uptake.
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