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001-IMEC-The influence of copper mineralogy and impeller speed on the cu recovery of scavengers in KGHM POLSKA MIEDZ S.A.~1

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   1 September 21 to 24, 2014 San Luis Potosi, Mexico The influence of copper mineralogy and impeller speed on the cu recovery of scavengers in KGHM POLSKA MIEDZ S.A. concentrators B Bazan 1 , E Kasinska  –   Pilut 1 , M Garbacki 1 , A Bazan-Krzywoszanska 2 KGHM Polska Miedz S.A. Division of Concentrators 1  Canada. University of Zielona Gora, Faculty of Civil and Environmental Engineering 2 , Poland. Abstract  A scavenger flotation survey was performed to quantify the influence of copper feed mineralogy and impeller radial velocity on metallurgical performance. Samples were subjected to metallurgical testing and automated mineral analysis to establish a size-by-size mineralogy. The mineralogical and metallurgical data were correlated with the material balance for scavenger flotation machine systems. These analyses revealed that copper recovery optimization would have to focus on fine partial liberated Cu-mineral losses. The effect of variable impeller radial velocity in each flotation cell cascade on metallurgical performance is explored on a sized and un-sized basis, to evaluate the contribution from the fine particles. One industrial application is discussed in this paper, and it is demonstrated that diversification of the impeller radial velocity has positive influence at the fine particle recovery level. Keywords: flotation, copper ores, liberation 1 Introduction KGHM  is the biggest international copper and silver producer in Europe operating in global markets for more than 50 years. The consortium has the second-largest deposit in the world that will allow planning of production in this part of Europe for the next 40 years. The business area includes three continents of their biggest mining regions. The business profile of KGHM is based on copper, molybdenum, nickel, gold, silver, palladium, platinum, lead and rhenium industrial production. Nowadays the consortium produces 550,000 mt of Cu annually, and it is the tenth producer of this metal in the world. KGHM carries out many projects, not only in Poland, but also in other countries, such as Sierra-Gorda Copper Operation (Chile) or Afton-Ajax copper-gold project (Canada). KGHM in Poland is predicated upon mining and metallurgical activity which is integrated and technologically advanced. KGHM in Poland possesses 3 of its own mines with 29 shafts, division of concentrators (3 plants) and 3 copper-works. The company employs 18,500 workers. Since 2009, the strategy of KGHM is based on improving productivity and developing its resource base with the aim of increasing the production of copper to approximately 700,000 mt Cu annually. The Division of Concentrators is the one of key elements of copper production. The production is based on expensive deposit exploitation in the three deepest mines in Europe: Lubin Mine  –  a copper content of ore at  –  1.02% Cu, Rudna Mine  –  a copper content of ore at  –  1.84% Cu, Polkowice  –  Sieroszowice a copper content in ore of  –  1.84% Cu.   2 September 21 to 24, 2014 San Luis Potosi, Mexico The ore-treatment process of Polish copper-ores is difficult to proceed from when lithology changes and variability sizes of minerals are connected with an increase in energy consumption. As a result of this, finding new solutions in technology of concentration, new projects solutions are key elements to increasing the Cu concentrate grinding and flotation system productivity. [1] When concerning the efficiency of the Cu concentrate production it can be described by two co-existing major parameters: the required Cu content in the final concentrate and the availability of achieving it as highly as possible. Cu recovery which can be described by the concentration of copper in the final tailings should be as low as possible. The availability to achieve the required ratio of Cu concentration between concentrate and tailings mainly depends on the liberalization of Cu minerals. The process of the liberation Cu minerals is carried out during the grinding operations, and this is more difficult with finer ore mineralization. During the grinding processes, as a major operation of Cu minerals, the liberation of some amounts of fine and ultra-fine liberated particles are generated making floatability worse than the rest of partially liberated Cu mineral grains that are feed dedicated into the flotation operation. It is really hard to prevent the comminution circuits against the generation of liberate fine and ultra-fine particles in an effective way. Actual market situations, connected with the increasing demand of non-ferrous metals like cooper, are required from the flotation operation availability to improve the process of extraction of liberated copper minerals from the finest particles classes. Increasing the recovery level by effective flotation of these fine particles is a challenge for many concentrators, and in this way, becomes one of the most important research areas for development in the mineral processing part of knowledge. [2] Generally in literature only two methods of flotation concerning fine particles have been proposed. The first solution promotes a point of view that fine particles flotation should be combined with coarse grain extraction until the moment when fine particles are taken to the froth product with coarse particles. The second one supports fine particles flotation by separating the flotation stages depending on the feed size of various particles. [2] It should be noted, that in all of these studies the issues are based primarily on the types of ores that are created in the magmatic processes. It is hard to find basis literature with concrete results of investigations in this area providing a connection to the challenges of the flotation of fine and ultra-fine particles in sedimentary types of ores  –  like the Polish deposits are. Some reasons for the worse floatability of the Polish copper ores have been investigated, finding that the necessary measures were being presented in papers, [3, 4] but the conducted analysis has not been given unequivocal answers. As a result of this, increasing the concentration of fine particle needs to be recognized as one of the major challenges for Polish copper concentrators. [5, 6] The industrial data suggests that the fine particle flotation process can be related to higher turbulent dissipation sources of energy and lower solids concentration. As a consequence of this, the data can be related to flotation rates, collision frequencies and the turbulent dissipation to viscosity ratio. [7] The available market technologies connected with automated mineral analysis offer major advantages in the understanding of mineralogical characteristics of the plant and in this way provide the opportunity to investigate the influence of, for instance impeller speed on metallurgical performance of the flotation process. [7,8]   3 September 21 to 24, 2014 San Luis Potosi, Mexico 2. Experimental test work The spatial aspect of waste management Improvement of the flotation process in the case of decreases in the volume of copper losses has also a positive impact on the environment. It allows for the full use of available resources and minimizes tailings production. In the production processes carried out by KGHM in Poland, it is necessary to draw attention to the level of order in waste management, which is not different from the standards achieved in other countries. Nevertheless, it is still necessary to find a system solution to the problem of utilization of tailings, which is produced during the process of ore flotation. The economic aspect of using the environment in the abovementioned process cannot be neglected. For example, the problem of utilization of flotation tailings can be estimated as 65% of all the fees connected with the use of the environment, including those connected with storing floating waste. Flotation tailings are the main by-product in the process of copper production. Waste from the three KGHM S.A. plants is stored in one tailing storage facility called Żelazny Most, located in the vicinity of the Rudna town in the administrative commune of Polkowice. The storage area is surrounded with earth dykes. The whole installation is located over an area of 15 km 2  and has the capacity of 350 million m 3  [11], which mean that it is one of the largest installations of this type in Europe. It is also one of the largest installations of this type in the immediate vicinity of human dwellings. Bearing in mind all of the aspects connected with the operation of the aforementioned tank, as well as the amount of fees for commercial use of the environment, KGHM S.A. finances research on the utilization of flotation tailings. For this reason, it is attempting to retrieve copper, silver, and other usable materials from the said waste, by using SiO 2  and CaO in civil engineering for the production of cement, cellular concrete and bitumen in road building. KGHM is also trying to find a use for these products in agriculture, such as in processes of improving the structure of soil by increasing its firmness and ability to hold water. It had also been shown that there are possibilities of using tailings in the chemical industry as fillers or carriers for the neutralization of sulphuric acid. The operation of the TSF shows that the best method of utilizing floating waste so far has been their use, including 100% of their material properties i.e. the thickest fraction, for building barriers which require constant extension. [10] In the world, there are very few examples of using recycled materials from the mining industry for the production of other materials. [12] The most important reason is the composition and unpredictable character of flotation tailings, since it is a mixture of different rocks, with their high granulation and large mass, accumulating over the years. There are methods of separating particular components, but the cost of obtaining and processing them, as well as the quality of products obtained in this way, make these methods highly unprofitable. The introduction of system solutions by KGHM S.A. to waste management made it possible to decrease the amount of tailings. It was possible due to decreasing the impoverishment of ore at the mining stage, which caused the amount of Cu to increase [13]. It also provided necessary conditions for the improvement of floating concentrate, which had a favourable impact on foundry work, but did not change the amount of floating.   4 September 21 to 24, 2014 San Luis Potosi, Mexico  According to the current regulations connected with spatial development, it can be assumed that installations, such as the tailings storage facility in Żelazny Most will be present in public spaces. However, a profound analysis of the content shows that there is a complete lack of provisions with an impact on spatial solutions which would approve of their character and possible use in the landscape of such places as the administrative commune of Polkowice. One of the reasons for this situation seems to be the lack of clear and synchronised legal solutions, which would in this case, refer to the already existing situation. Characteristics of Polish copper ores KGHM copper ore deposits that have been exploited in KGHM in Poland are characterized by the accumulation of sulfide minerals which occur in the sandstone layer, cupriferous shales and dolostones- which are sedimentary carbonate rocks that contain a high percentage of the mineral dolomite. Three forms of lithium ores are distinguishable. They are sandstone, shale and carbonate ores. In a huge amount of ore these forms occur at the same time, but in different proportions. Metals in copper ores occur mainly in sulfide minerals. Basic cupriferous minerals of Polish ores are copper sulfides: chalcocite (Cu 2 S), bornite (Cu 5 FeS 4 ), chalcopyrite (CuFeS 2 ) and covelitte (CuS). The main cupriferous minerals are also carriers of accompanying elements such as: silver, lead, zinc, cobalt, nickel and gold. The average variance compositions of ore processed in the concentrators between 1985-1991 and 2009-2011 are presented in Table 1. [1, 2, 12] Table 1 : KGHM S.A. deposit’s changing of lithology structure  Concentrator Name Sandstone Shale Carbonates 1985-1991 2009-2011 1985-1991 2009-2011 1985-1991 2009-2011 Lubin 54.00% 77.54% 8.10% 0.94% 37.90% 21.52% Polkowice 9.90% 22.67% 5.90% 5.28% 84.20% 72.05% Rudna 43.30% 54.11% 5.50% 11.56% 51.20% 34.33% The processed types of ore that have maintained their basic nature are identified by the individual concentrators that follow: -  Sandstone ore  –  Lubin -  Carbonate ore  –  Polkowice -  Ore with average constant proportions of carbonate and sandstone  –  Rudna. Sandstone ore has a form that is light-grey, fine grained, and compacted. It contains mainly quartz, with small amounts of feldspars and other minerals, and it is all bound together by a carbonate or clayey binder. Metal bearing mineral particles are mostly no bigger than 0.200 mm, and in general, within a range of between 0.050 and 0.200 mm. Carbonate ore occurs in the form of lime dolomites. Minerals with gangue are mainly found in dolomite, calcite, anhydrite and clay minerals. Metal earing minerals mostly lay in a range from 0.030 to 0.200 mm. Shale ore contains about 85% of clay minerals and carbonates, of which are about 7% of organic matter with small amounts of quartz. Copper minerals are predominantly in a size range of 0.005 to 0.040 mm. [2, 9]

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Jul 24, 2017

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