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Insights into ferric leaching of low grade metal sulfide-containing ores in an unsaturated ore bed using x-ray computed tomography

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Title: Insights into ferric leaching of low grade metal sulfide-containing ores in an unsaturated ore bed using x-ray computed tomography
Authors: Dobson, KJ
Harrison, STL
Lin, Q
Bhreasail, AN
Fagan-Endres, MA
Neethling, SJ
Lee, PD
Cilliers, JJ
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: The distribution of the metal-bearing mineral grains within a particulate ore prepared for leaching, and the impact of this spatial heterogeneity on overall extraction efficiency is of key importance to a mining industry that must continuously target ever-reducing grades and more complex ore bodies. If accessibility and recovery of the target minerals is to be improved, a more detailed understanding of the behaviour of the system must be developed. We present an in situ analysis using X-ray computed tomography to quantify the rates of volume reduction of sulfide mineral grains in low grade agglomerated copper bearing ores during a miniature laboratory scale column leaching experiment. The data shows the scale of the heterogeneity in the leaching behaviour, with an overall reduction of sulphide mineral grains of 50%, but that this value masks significant mm3 to cm3 scale variability in reduction. On the scale of individual ore fragments, leaching efficiency ranged from 22% to 99%. We use novel quantitative methods to determine the volume fraction of the sulfide that is accessible to the leachate solution.
Issue Date: 22-May-2017
Date of Acceptance: 16-May-2017
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10044/1/48857
DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.3390/min7050085
ISSN: 2075-163X
Publisher: MDPI
Journal / Book Title: Minerals
Volume: 7
Issue: 5
Copyright Statement: © 2017 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Sponsor/Funder: Technological Resources PTY Ltd
Technological Resources PTY Ltd
Royal Academy Of Engineering
Funder's Grant Number: 3100429469
3101488649
BRIS-WS.FID2694470
Keywords: Science & Technology
Physical Sciences
Mineralogy
Mining & Mineral Processing
X-ray tomography
leaching
chalcopyrite
COPPER SULFIDES
MICROTOMOGRAPHY
CHALCOPYRITE
MICROORGANISMS
ACQUISITION
PERFORMANCE
PARTICLES
KINETICS
DRAINAGE
REACTORS
Publication Status: Published
Open Access location: http://www.mdpi.com/2075-163X/7/5/85
Article Number: ARTN 85
Appears in Collections:Materials
Earth Science and Engineering