Three Beneficiation Processes of Copper-cobalt

Published time:14 March 2023

Cobalt is a hard magnetic metal with a high melting point and good stability. It is an important raw material for manufacturing heat-resistant, anti-corrosion, and hard alloys. People wide used in aerospace, machinery manufacturing, electrical appliances, and chemical industries. It is an important strategic material.

Copper-cobalt ore

Copper-cobalt ore is a kind of cobalt ore that can be used to separate and extract cobalt. The commonly used separation methods include flotation, flotation-magnetic separation combination, and leaching process.


What Are The Beneficiation Processes of Copper-cobalt Ore?


1. Copper-cobalt Ore Flotation

The flotation process is easy to operate and highly controllable, and it is also suitable for copper-cobalt ore with low grade and fine particle size. It can recover low-grade and complex fine-grained copper and cobalt minerals, reduce the difficulty of separating copper and cobalt minerals, and improve the quality and recovery rate of copper and cobalt concentrates.


Copper-cobalt Ore Flotation Process

Copper-cobalt ore flotation is to mix and flotation of copper-cobalt to obtain a mixed concentrate and then separate copper and cobalt to get copper concentrate and cobalt concentrate. The specific process is that the raw copper-cobalt ore is ground. Add a certain amount of regulator during the grinding process to adjust the pH value of the pulp to the range of 9-10. Sequentially add collectors and foaming agents to the ore pulp after grinding, carry out copper-cobalt mixed flotation roughing, and then obtain tailings after two sweeps. Add inhibitors to the mixed flotation foam, and get the copper-cobalt mixed concentrate after three times of beneficiation. Add inhibitors and collectors successively, carry out copper-cobalt separation flotation, and obtain cobalt after one roughing and sweeping concentrate. Separate the foam after separation and flotation of copper and cobalt twice to get copper concentrate.

flotation machine

2. Flotation-Magnetic Separation Combined Process

When the composition of copper-cobalt ore is complex, single flotation cannot effectively recover cobalt. Because cobalt has weak magnetism, we can recover it with magnetic separation. Copper-cobalt ore flotation-magnetic separation combined process is suitable for processing oxidized ore with more magnetic substances and can effectively improve the grade of magnetic separation concentrate.


Flotation-Magnetic Separation Combined Process Flow

First, grind the copper-cobalt oxide ore flotation tailings with a mill to -0.074mm, accounting for 70-90%, and make a slurry with a 10-40% concentration. Use a high gradient magnetic separator with 0.8-1.2T magnetic field for strong magnetic roughing to obtain strong magnetic roughing concentrate and strong magnetic roughing tailings. The strong magnetic roughing tailings are the final magnetic tailings. The strong magnetic roughing concentrate is then subjected to strong magnetic concentration with a magnetic separator to obtain strong magnetic concentrated concentrate and strong magnetic tailings. Grind the high-strength magnetic separation concentrate, then carry out weak magnetic separation to get weak magnetic separation concentrate and tailings. The weak magnetic separation concentrate is the final magnetic separation concentrate.


3. Copper-cobalt Leaching Process

For complex copper-cobalt oxide ores, leaching and other methods are usually used for treatment. Oxidized ores are generally severely weathered and have poor permeability, so they are only suitable for some heap leaching. The combination of heap leaching and stirring leaching can obtain high recovery rates of copper and cobalt metals.


Copper-cobalt Ore Leaching Process Flow

First, crush and grind the copper oxide cobalt raw ore, and classify the crushed ore according to the particle size.

  • Particle size >5mm: Heap leaching. Use staged heap leaching, first spraying and leaching copper. Control the pH value at 1.5, the spraying intensity is 10~15L/m2·min, and the leaching time is 60~120 days.
  • Particle size <5mm: Leaching-stirring-leaching.Stirring leaching is carried out under normal pressure, the reaction temperature is 20-80 ℃, control the pH value at 1.5, and the leaching liquid-solid ratio is 4:1. Grinding fineness(-200 mesh) accounts for 60%~ 90%. The leaching time is less than 4 hours.

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