Full release of analysis of ore from all Nkana Mopani company mine shafts
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Due to low copper and cobalt recoveries that were being experienced, and thus a considerable rise in mineral losses to the tailings, this study was proposed. The specific objective was to establish the optimum mesh of grind for all Nkana copper and cobalt sulphide ores. This was done through laboratory batch flotation test work. Therefore the current work is an extension of previous work done by Mutentwa (2001) who investigated Chibuluma, South Ore Body and Mindola ores. This study was done through laboratory flotation tests conducted under different experimental conditions for all Mopani Copper Mine sulphide ores. Mineral samples were collected, prepared and subjected to grinding and flotation tests. The average head grades were 1-2.5% copper and about 0.2% cobalt. From the results obtained, the optimum mesh of grind for central shaft ore was 70% passing 75|jm with recoveries of 97.6% and 88.2% for copper and cobalt respectively. That for South Ore Body ore was also 70% passing 75|jm giving recoveries of 95% and 80% for copper and cobalt respectively. Mindola Subvertical ore had 60% passing 75|jm as the optimum mesh of grind with recoveries of 96.4% and 87.6% for copper and cobalt respectively. The optimum mesh of grind for Mindola North ore was also 60% passing 75gm with recoveries of 94.6% and 93.8% for copper and cobalt respectively. These results are different from the optimum mesh of grind being practiced which was 65% passing 75|_im for all the shaft ores. It was therefore concluded that the low copper and cobalt recoveries, as well as the considerable rise in mineral losses to the tailings were due to the change in the optimum meshes of grind for the different shaft ores. Therefore, it is recommended that the plant personnel may implement the above optimum meshes of grind as established in this study.
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