In the mining industry beneficiation process in extractive metallurgy, is an process that improves (benefits) the economic value of the ore by removing the gangue minerals, which results in a higher grade product (concentrate) and a waste stream (tailings).

1) Copper Ore

Copper ore become higher grade copper concentrate containing copper or copper ore after beneficiation, copper concentrate need to go through smelting in order to become refined copper and copper products.

Copper is one of the earliest found metals in the human history, its color is amaranth, relative density is 8.89, melting point is 1083°C. Copper and its alloy are good at electric conduction and heat conduction. They have strong resistant to corrosion, and can be processed easily. Considering of these advantages.

Copper ore application

The development of the manufacturing sector is inseparable from the use of copper, according to the US Copper Development Association (CDA) released report: In the 21st century, copper ore is most widely used in the electrical and electronic industry, mainly for mobile phones, computers and other manufacture of electronic products, the largest amount of the total consumption is more than half.

Copper ore processing technique

The first stage of any copper ore processing in most of copper and cu polymetallic ore deposits exploration and mining in the world , is to getting the concentrate with beneficiation process. And then get copper metal by concentrate smelting. Copper beneficiation methods are mainly flotation, magnetic separation, gravity, chemical and biohydrometallurgy.

1. Single Sulfide ores

Single Sulfide ores always adopt flotation. According to the property of the polymetallic sulphide ore, bulkflotation, differential flotation, combination of gravity separation& floating, combination of magnetic & floating and combination of floating& hydrometallurgy can be used for the mineral process.

2. Oxide copper

Oxide copper can be concentrated using combination of floating& chemical processing and combination of floating& segregation processing. Ore with high percentage of bound type oxidized copper are processed by chemical processing.

3. Mixed ore

Mixed ore always can be handled individually or together with sulfide ore using floatation process. Mixed ore may be treated via several processes, such as combination of floatation & chemical process, which means that get copper concentrate by floatation and then treat the tailings in chemical processing.

2) Other Mineral Ore Beneficiation

Just like copper ore Beneficiation , it is also Applicable in other mineral ore like

Bauxite ore ,Iron ore, manganese ore, chromium ore , titanium, tin ore Gold ore, silver ore, galena, sphalerite, molybdenum ore, pentlandite, sulphide minerals, wolframite, ilmenite, rare-earth metal, Graphite, sulphur, diamond, quartz, mica, feldspar and other nonmetallic minerals. silicate and other oxide and sulfide minerals.

Types of Beneficiation process :

Mainly  beneficiation processes are of 3 types in minerals :

1) Floatation Separation

Floatation is a main method to separate the ores by the different natures of wetting by water. The hydrophobic mineral will be gathered on the bubbles and floats on the surface. However, the hydrophilic minerals will stay in the water.
Technical process:

1. Preparation work:
Grinding, classification, mixing, adding reagents, agitating, etc. The aim is to get the proper pulp with suitable size and density for further process.

2. Agitating, mixing air and the mineralization of bubbles:
Air is sucked or pressed into the pulp, are mixing with floatation reagents, hydrophobic mineral particles will be adhered to the bubbles which are stable with suitable size. And hydrophilic mineral particles will stay in the pulp.

3. To get the concentrate
Hydrophobic minerals will be adhered to the bubbles and float to the pulp surface, and then being scraped by the scrapers of floatation machines and become the concentrate, the left pulp is tailings.

Floatation machines
1. Shalimar Floatation Machine: This machine can imbibe the air and ore pulp spontaneously by the zone of negative pressure in the lower part of floatation machine.
2. Shalimar Floatation Machine: The air is compressed by the pipeline. The impellers are mainly for keeping the pulp suspending.
3. Floatation Cell: There are no impellers device, the compressed air are for agitating.

Effect factors to floatation
1. Grinding size
2. The density of pulp
3. The reagent
4. Agitating
5. Temperature of pulp.
6. Flotation time, which is determined by the dressing test.

2) Gravity Separation

Gravity separation process is an ore separation method according to the mineral ore density difference. It plays an important role in modern processing methods. Gravity separation is also a kind of more economic beneficiation process.

Gravity separation process needs gravity equipment including classifier, jigger, shaking table and spiral chute, and gravity media such as air or water; its main advantages lie in simple structure and economical cost.

Detailed process flow:
Water desliming→ water classification→ shaking table separation
Water desliming : Using water flow to segregate agglomerate or fine clayor bonding with quartz, and remove the clay.
Water classification: As minerals of different sizes have different settling velocity in waterflow , this can divide different fractions according to requirement.
Shaking table separation: Iron and dense particles’ sedimentation in water is faster; under the joint effect of horizontal and vertical flow, low density quartz grain would get separated from dense minerals.

Technical features:
1. Gravity concentration equipments are simple and stable, easy to operate and economical. the technology is also relatively mature.
2. Expensive reagents are no need in gravity separation processing ,discharged tailings cause little pollution.
3. Discarding the blocky rock mass and coarse tailings and separate coarse disseminated-grain low-magnetic minerals.
4. Coordinate with other separation methods to recycle fine disseminated-grain low-magnetic minerals.
5. For coarse disseminated grain minerals, gravity separation can get good separation performance. This could produce coarse concentrates or mixed concentrates, as well as the final concentrates.

3) Magnetic Separation

Magnetic separation is an industry process in which magnetically susceptible materials with different magnetic rigidities are extracted or separated from a mixture by using different magnetic forces. Generally speaking, magnetic separation is particularly suitable for separating weakly magnetic minerals or strongly magnetic minerals, or for de-ironing. What is the working principle of magnetic separators?
The magnetic separator consists of a large rotating drum, in which permanent magnets are wrapped and fixed, so it creates a magnetic field. When materials enter the feeding cell, sensitive particles will respond to the magnetism and stick to the drum. As the drum rotates, the magnetism will become weaker and weaker. With the washing or cleaning forces, sensitive particles will fall down and be collected into the concentrate hoppers. As for non-magnetic particles, they will be flowed out from the discharging opening.

What are applications of magnetic separators?
Magnetic separation is an important process in the beneficiation of iron ores, and finds application in the treatment of paramagnetic non-ferrous minerals and in the processing of non-metallic minerals. Technically speaking, low-intensity magnetic separators can be used to concentrate ferromagnetic minerals such as magnetite (Fe3O4), while high-intensity separators are used to separate paramagnetic minerals from their gangue. What’s more, magnetic separators can remove unwanted magnetic minerals from non-ferrous minerals.

How many kinds of magnetic separators can be classified?
According to magnetic intensities, magnetic separators can be classified into three kinds: low-intensity magnetic separators (900-1700Gauss), middle-intensity magnetic separators (2000-6000Gauss), high-intensity magnetic separators (6000-12000Gauss).
According to their working conditions, magnetic separators can be classified into three kinds: dry magnetic separators, wet magnetic separators, and high-gradient magnetic separators.