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HMS Improvements to increase Copper Recovery

20/9/2012

Chemaf Makes HMS Improvements to Increase Cu Recovery

Chemaf recently completed a project to improve copper recovery and reduce sulphuric acid consumption.

Process description of the original scheme

Two independent Heavy Media Separation (HMS) plants exist, each receiving its own ore. HMS 1 has the capacity to take 100 tons of ore per hour of ore and the HM2 has the capacity to receive 335 tons per hour of ore.

Each of the plants run independently, and consists of a single stage conventional Dense Media Separation system (DMS).

Due to the nature of the ore which consists pre-dominantly of chrysocolla, which has a low density of 2.2 when compared to malachite, the recovery are low, as the chrysocolla is floated off as a reject. In this process the dolomites are recovered together with the malachite, which in turn results in high Sulphuric Acid consumption.

Process description of the modified scheme

We have changed the system into a two stage one, where the floats of HMS2 are used as feed stock to HMS 1

We now have a two stage DMS system operating at different densities.

By doing this it is now possible to reject the dolomites and recover a large portion of the chrysocolla, with subsequent increases in copper recovery and reduced sulphuric Acid consumption

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