University of Oulu

Kumar, Haresh; Luolavirta, Kirsi; Akram, Saad U.; Mehmood, Hassan; Luukkanen, Saija. 2021. "The Effect of Hydrodynamic Conditions on the Selective Flotation of Fully Liberated Low Grade Copper-Nickel Ore" Minerals 11, no. 3: 328.

The effect of hydrodynamic conditions on the selective flotation of fully liberated low grade copper-nickel ore

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Author: Kumar, Haresh1; Luolavirta, Kirsi1; Akram, Saad Ullah2;
Organizations: 1Oulu Mining School, University of Oulu, Erkki Koiso-Kanttilankatu V2, 90014 Oulu, Finland
2Department of Computer Science, Aalto University, 02150 Espoo, Finland
3Centre for Ubiquituous Computing, University of Oulu, Erkki Koiso-Kanttilankatu 3, 90014 Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 3 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute, 2021
Publish Date: 2021-04-16


Low grade sulfide ores are difficult to process due to their composite mineralogy and their fine grained dissemination with gangue minerals. Therefore, fine grinding of such ores becomes essential to liberate valuable minerals. In this research, selective flotation was carried out using two pitched blade turbine impellers with diameters of 6 cm and 7 cm to float copper and nickel. The main focus of this research was to generate optimum hydrodynamic conditions that can effectively separate nickel and copper from gangue minerals. In addition, we investigated the effects of superficial gas velocity, impeller speed, bubble size distribution, and bubble surface area flux on the flotation recovery and rate constant. The results demonstrated that a 7 cm impeller comparatively produced optimum hydrodynamic conditions that improved Cu-Ni recovery and the rate constant. The maximum copper and nickel recoveries in the 7 cm impeller tests were observed at 93.1% and 72.5%, respectively. However, a significant decrease in the flotation rate of nickel was observed, due to entrainment of nickel in copper concentrate and the slime coating of gangue minerals on the nickel particle surfaces.

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Series: Minerals
ISSN: 2075-163X
ISSN-E: 2075-163X
ISSN-L: 2075-163X
Volume: 11
Issue: 3
Article number: 328
DOI: 10.3390/min11030328
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 216 Materials engineering
222 Other engineering and technologies
Funding: This study was funded by K.H. Renlund’s Foundation (accessed on 19 March 2021).
Copyright information: © 2021 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 (