Mining of Mineral Deposits

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Optimization of Molybdenite Flotation Using Response Surface Method

R. Badri1, A.R. Khanchi2, A.R. Zojaji1, A.A. Rahmani3

1University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

2Nuclear Science and Technology Research Institute, Tehran, Iran

3University of Imam Khomeini, Qazvin, Iran

Min. miner. depos. 2018, 12(1):12-18

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      Purpose. The paper is aimed to study the molybdenite flotation from a low-grade uranium ore containing 0.2% of Mo.

      Methods. Three control parameters including frother (MIBC) dosage, collector (gasoline) dosage and pH, each in five levels, were investigated. Response surface methodology (RSM) was performed for statistical design and analysis of experiments and process modeling. Four quadratic mathematical models were derived for prediction of Mo recovery and Mo grade.

      Findings. Analysis of variance showed that frother and collector dosage were the most significant factors affecting Mo recovery and grade. In process optimization, maximum values of Mo recovery and grade were achieved as 79.13% and 2.93%, respectively. Optimum frother concentration of 78.93 g/t, gasoline dosage of 507.70 g/t, and pH of 9.77, for Mo recovery were obtained. However, in optimization studies, a case proposed the model in which the same consumption of reagents is used.

      Originality. There is a recognized need for type of uranium ore which contains Molybdenite, therefore working on molybdenite removing from this ore helps to recover uranium in the next steps. This research provides a novel approach to gain the optimum recovery and grade to extract uranium so easily.

      Practical implications. This study showed that response surface methodology could be effectively used for flotation process modeling as well as finding an optimum condition to achieve maximum recovery and grade under minimum consumption of flotation reagents.

      Keywords: molybdenite, flotation, response surface methodology, central composite design, design of experiments


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