Special Issue "Advances in Mineral Processing"

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A special issue of Minerals (ISSN 2075-163X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2012)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Roger Smart

University of South Australia, Division of Information Technology, Engineering and the Environment, Mawson Lakes Campus, GPO Box 2471, Adelaide SA 5001, Australia
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +61 8 830 23353
Fax: +61 8 830 23683
Interests: minerals processing; environmental waste processing; materials processing; biomaterials; surface science
Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Kota Hanumantha Rao

Department of Geology and Mineral Resources Engineering, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), NO-7491 Trondheim, Norway
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +47-73594837
Interests: surface and pulp chemistry of flotation; flotation of sulphide, industrial, silicate and iron minerals; molecular modelling of inorganic/organic interfaces; minerals bioprocessing; coal preparation

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Mineral and metal extractive industries play a significant role in the economic development of all nations and mineral processing is one of the key areas to bring forth necessary metals and several finished products of mineral origin from ores. Despite the continuous structural shift towards a knowledge-based society, our society cannot operate without minerals, the consumption of which increases with the standard of living. With a growing demand in the main exporting BRICS countries, the prices of metals continuously increased during the last decade, which-in-turn, increased mineral exploration activities by the mineral industry. Leaner grades and finer dissemination of values in the more recently processed ores have made them more difficult to process economically and it expected that, future ore bodies will be similar or more demanding. It has also become imperative to rationalise technological schemes of ore processing with due consideration to environmental degradation. The industry is meeting these challenges with new research, understanding and technology.

The purpose of this special issue is to review recent advances in mineral processing techniques and to project from current state-of-the-art technology to potential in future mineral processing with full regard to protection of natural environment. Due to ever growing, but often disparate, literature in mineral processing, we think a new special issue with cutting edge and critical review articles on best practices from the most research advances in both fundamental and applied aspects of all mineral processing would be opportune to organize current information and innovations.

We, therefore, request the authors to submit the manuscripts for this new special issue in all areas listed in the keywords covering recent advances and innovation in mineral processing that will be of direct interest to the mineral industry, researchers and practitioners.

Prof. Dr. Kota Hanumantha Rao
Prof. Dr. Roger Smart
Guest Editors

Keywords

  • mineralogy
  • comminution
  • liberation
  • physical separation (gravity, electrostatic, magnetic)
  • flotation (cells, bubble, surface chemistry, froth control)
  • leaching (bioleaching, Eh control)
  • reagents
  • water quality control
  • modelling and process simulation
  • integrated diagnosis of losses
  • rock and tailings disposal and environmental control
  • base metal minerals
  • industrial minerals (oxides, silicates, clays; iron minerals; PGM minerals)
  • strategic (rare earth) minerals

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle A New Direction for Biomining: Extraction of Metals by Reductive Dissolution of Oxidized Ores
Minerals 2013, 3(1), 49-58; doi:10.3390/min3010049
Received: 27 November 2012 / Revised: 11 January 2013 / Accepted: 22 January 2013 / Published: 30 January 2013
Cited by 14
Abstract
Biomining, the biotechnology that uses microorganisms to extract metals from ores and concentrates, is currently used exclusively for processing reduced ores and mine wastes. Metals of economic value also occur extensively in oxidized ores, such as nickel laterites. While these are not amenable
[...] Read more.
Biomining, the biotechnology that uses microorganisms to extract metals from ores and concentrates, is currently used exclusively for processing reduced ores and mine wastes. Metals of economic value also occur extensively in oxidized ores, such as nickel laterites. While these are not amenable to oxidative dissolution, the ferric iron minerals they contain can, in theory, be disrupted by iron reduction, causing associated metals to be released. We have harnessed the ability of the facultatively anaerobic, acidophilic bacterium Acidithiobacillus ferroooxidans to couple the oxidation of elemental sulphur to the reduction of ferric iron in the goethite fraction of a limonitic nickel ore at 30 °C. Nickel and other metals (Co, Cr and Mn) were effectively solubilised and maintained in solution due to the low pH (1.8) of the leach liquor. The results highlight the potential for the bioprocessing of oxidized, iron-rich ores using an approach that is energy-saving and environmentally-benign compared with metallurgical processes currently applied to the extraction of Ni from lateritic ores. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Mineral Processing)
Open AccessArticle The Adsorption of n-Octanohydroxamate Collector on Cu and Fe Oxide Minerals Investigated by Static Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry
Minerals 2012, 2(4), 493-515; doi:10.3390/min2040493
Received: 12 September 2012 / Revised: 26 November 2012 / Accepted: 4 December 2012 / Published: 10 December 2012
Cited by 1
Abstract
The feasibility of investigating the adsorption of n-octanohydroxamate collector on copper and iron oxide minerals with static secondary ion mass spectrometry has been assessed. Secondary ion mass spectra were determined for abraded surfaces of air-exposed copper metal, malachite, pseudomalachite and magnetite that
[...] Read more.
The feasibility of investigating the adsorption of n-octanohydroxamate collector on copper and iron oxide minerals with static secondary ion mass spectrometry has been assessed. Secondary ion mass spectra were determined for abraded surfaces of air-exposed copper metal, malachite, pseudomalachite and magnetite that had been conditioned in aqueous potassium hydrogen n-octanohydroxamate solution, as well as for the corresponding bulk CuII and FeIII complexes. In each case, the chemical species present at the solid/vacuum interface of a similarly prepared surface were established by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. The most abundant positive and negative metal-containing fragment ions identified for the bulk complexes were also found to be diagnostic secondary ions for the collector adsorbed on the oxide surfaces. The relative abundances of those diagnostic ions varied with, and could be rationalised by, the monolayer or multilayer coverage of the adsorbed collector. However, the precise mass values for the diagnostic ions were not able to corroborate the different bonding in the copper and iron hydroxamate systems that had been deduced from photoelectron and vibrational spectra. Parent secondary ions were able to provide supporting information on the co-adsorption of hydroxamic acid at each conditioned surface. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Mineral Processing)
Open AccessArticle A Study of the Effect of Djurliete, Bornite and Chalcopyrite during the Dissolution of Gold with a Solution of Ammonia-Cyanide
Minerals 2012, 2(4), 459-472; doi:10.3390/min2040459
Received: 25 July 2012 / Revised: 28 September 2012 / Accepted: 18 October 2012 / Published: 20 November 2012
Cited by 1
Abstract
The high solubility of copper sulphide minerals is an issue in the cyanidation of gold ores. The objective of this study was to quantify the effect of individual copper sulphide minerals on the Hunt process, which showed advantages over cyanidation. High purity djurleite,
[...] Read more.
The high solubility of copper sulphide minerals is an issue in the cyanidation of gold ores. The objective of this study was to quantify the effect of individual copper sulphide minerals on the Hunt process, which showed advantages over cyanidation. High purity djurleite, bornite and chalcopyrite, with a P70 of 70–74 microns, were mixed with fine quartz and gold powder (3–8 micron) to obtain a copper concentration of 0.3%. The ammonia-cyanide leaching of slurry with djurleite proved to be more effective than cyanidation; producing comparable extraction of gold (99%), while reducing the cyanide consumption from 5.8 to 1.2 kg/t NaCN. Lead nitrate improved the Hunt leaching. The lower cyanide consumption is associated to a significant reduction of copper dissolved. XPS surface analysis of djurleite showed that lead nitrate favored the formation of Cu(OH)2 species. Lead was also detected on the surface (oxide or hydroxide). Sulphide and copper compounds (cyanide and sulphide) were reaction products responsible for inhibiting the dissolution of gold. Lead nitrate added in the Hunt leaching of bornite produced 99% gold extraction. Surface reaction products were similar to djurleite. The cyanide consumption (~4.4 kg/t NaCN) was not reduced by the addition of ammonia. Cyanidation of chalcopyrite showed a lower consumption of cyanide 0.33 kg/t NaCN compared to 0.21 kg/t NaCN for Hunt. No significant interferences were observed in gold leaching with a slurry containing chalcopyrite. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Mineral Processing)
Open AccessArticle Transmission X-ray Microscopy—A New Tool in Clay Mineral Floccules Characterization
Minerals 2012, 2(4), 283-299; doi:10.3390/min2040283
Received: 11 July 2012 / Revised: 5 September 2012 / Accepted: 21 September 2012 / Published: 18 October 2012
Cited by 3
Abstract
Effective flocculation and dewatering of mineral processing streams containing clays are microstructure dependent in clay-water systems. Initial clay flocculation is crucial in the design and for the development of a new methodology of gas exploitation. Microstructural engineering of clay aggregates using covalent cations
[...] Read more.
Effective flocculation and dewatering of mineral processing streams containing clays are microstructure dependent in clay-water systems. Initial clay flocculation is crucial in the design and for the development of a new methodology of gas exploitation. Microstructural engineering of clay aggregates using covalent cations and Keggin macromolecules have been monitored using the new state of the art Transmission X-ray Microscope (TXM) with 60 nm tomography resolution installed in a Taiwanese synchrotron. The 3-D reconstructions from TXM images show complex aggregation structures in montmorillonite aqueous suspensions after treatment with Na+, Ca2+ and Al13 Keggin macromolecules. Na-montmorillonite displays elongated, parallel, well-orientated and closed-void cellular networks, 0.5–3 µm in diameter. After treatment by covalent cations, the coagulated structure displays much smaller, randomly orientated and openly connected cells, 300–600 nm in diameter. The average distances measured between montmorillonite sheets was around 450 nm, which is less than half of the cell dimension measured in Na-montmorillonite. The most dramatic structural changes were observed after treatment by Al13 Keggin; aggregates then became arranged in compacted domains of a 300 nm average diameter composed of thick face-to-face oriented sheets, which forms porous aggregates with larger intra-aggregate open and connected voids. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Mineral Processing)
Open AccessArticle An Overview of Optimizing Strategies for Flotation Banks
Minerals 2012, 2(4), 258-271; doi:10.3390/min2040258
Received: 4 July 2012 / Revised: 23 August 2012 / Accepted: 12 September 2012 / Published: 10 October 2012
Abstract
A flotation bank is a serial arrangement of cells. How to optimally operate a bank remains a challenge. This article reviews three reported strategies: air profiling, mass-pull (froth velocity) profiling and Peak Air Recovery (PAR) profiling. These are all ways of manipulating the
[...] Read more.
A flotation bank is a serial arrangement of cells. How to optimally operate a bank remains a challenge. This article reviews three reported strategies: air profiling, mass-pull (froth velocity) profiling and Peak Air Recovery (PAR) profiling. These are all ways of manipulating the recovery profile down a bank, which may be the property being exploited. Mathematical analysis has shown that a flat cell-by-cell recovery profile maximizes the separation of two floatable minerals for a given target bank recovery when the relative floatability is constant down the bank. Available bank survey data are analyzed with respect to recovery profiling. Possible variations on recovery profile to minimize entrainment are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Mineral Processing)
Open AccessArticle Characterizing Frothers through Critical Coalescence Concentration (CCC)95-Hydrophile-Lipophile Balance (HLB) Relationship
Minerals 2012, 2(3), 208-227; doi:10.3390/min2030208
Received: 22 June 2012 / Revised: 26 July 2012 / Accepted: 31 July 2012 / Published: 13 August 2012
Cited by 27
Abstract
Frothers are surfactants commonly used to reduce bubble size in mineral flotation. This paper describes a methodology to characterize frothers by relating impact on bubble size reduction represented by CCC (critical coalescence concentration) to frother structure represented by HLB (hydrophile-lipophile balance). Thirty-six surfactants
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Frothers are surfactants commonly used to reduce bubble size in mineral flotation. This paper describes a methodology to characterize frothers by relating impact on bubble size reduction represented by CCC (critical coalescence concentration) to frother structure represented by HLB (hydrophile-lipophile balance). Thirty-six surfactants were tested from three frother families: Aliphatic Alcohols, Polypropylene Glycol Alkyl Ethers and Polypropylene Glycols, covering a range in alkyl groups (represented by n, the number of carbon atoms) and number of Propylene Oxide groups (represented by m). The Sauter mean size (D32) was derived from bubble size distribution measured in a 0.8 m3 mechanical flotation cell. The D32 vs. concentration data were fitted to a 3-parameter model to determine CCC95, the concentration giving 95% reduction in bubble size compared to water only. It was shown that each family exhibits a unique CCC95-HLB relationship dependent on n and m. Empirical models were developed to predict CCC95 either from HLB or directly from n and m. Commercial frothers of known family were shown to fit the relationships. Use of the model to predict D32 is illustrated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Mineral Processing)

Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessReview Integrated Approaches for the Study of Real Mineral Flotation Systems
Minerals 2013, 3(1), 1-15; doi:10.3390/min3010001
Received: 30 September 2012 / Revised: 16 December 2012 / Accepted: 19 December 2012 / Published: 8 January 2013
Cited by 1
Abstract
It is more common than not, for mineral processing studies to proceed via the examination of model flotation systems with the resulting data often lacking statistical verification. The resultant concentrates and tails may then be subjected to a restricted range of analyses, for
[...] Read more.
It is more common than not, for mineral processing studies to proceed via the examination of model flotation systems with the resulting data often lacking statistical verification. The resultant concentrates and tails may then be subjected to a restricted range of analyses, for diagnosis of the flotation behavior variations observed, that themselves bias the outcomes. For instance surface analysis may be undertaken without reference to solution speciation, or liberation may be studied but surface speciation may not be taken into account. We propose an integrated approach whereby firstly the flotation data are vigorously scrutinized and the mineralogy, liberation, surface and solution speciation are examined in parallel to establish a chemical over view of the system. It is proposed that to make progress in the understanding of flotation systems, in terms of the minerals chemistry, that a multi-dimensional analytical approach is utilized and that the focus shifts towards the analysis of real ores and industrial flotation systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Mineral Processing)
Open AccessReview Management of Sulfide-Bearing Waste, a Challenge for the Mining Industry
Minerals 2012, 2(1), 1-10; doi:10.3390/min2010001
Received: 13 December 2011 / Revised: 3 January 2012 / Accepted: 2 February 2012 / Published: 8 February 2012
Cited by 4
Abstract
Oxidation of iron sulfides in waste rock dumps and tailings deposits may result in formation of acid rock drainage (ARD), which often is a challenging problem at mine sites. Therefore, integrating an ARD management plan into the actual mine operations in the early
[...] Read more.
Oxidation of iron sulfides in waste rock dumps and tailings deposits may result in formation of acid rock drainage (ARD), which often is a challenging problem at mine sites. Therefore, integrating an ARD management plan into the actual mine operations in the early phases of exploration, continuing through the mine life until final closure might be successful and decrease the environmental impact. A thorough characterization of ore and waste should be performed at an early stage. A detailed knowledge of mineralogical composition, chemical composition and physical properties such as grain size, porosity and hydraulic conductivity of the different waste types is necessary for reliable predictions of ARD formation and efficiency of mitigation measures. Different approaches to prevent and mitigate ARD are discussed. Another key element of successfully planning to prevent ARD and to close a mining operation sustainably is to engage the mine stakeholders (regulators, community and government leaders, non-governmental organization (NGOs) and lenders) in helping develop and implement the ARD management plan. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Mineral Processing)

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Minerals Editorial Office
St. Alban-Anlage 66, 4052 Basel, Switzerland
minerals@mdpi.com
Tel. +41 61 683 77 34
Fax: +41 61 302 89 18
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