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Open AccessArticle

Recovering Cobalt and Sulfur in Low Grade Cobalt-Bearing V–Ti Magnetite Tailings Using Flotation Process

1,2,3,4,* and 5
1
School of Environment and Resources, Southwest University of Science and Technology, Mianyang 621010, China
2
Key Laboratory of Sichuan Province for Comprehensive Utilization of Vanadium and Titanium Resources (Panzhihua University), Panzhihua 61700, China
3
Sichuan Engineering Laboratory of Non-Metallic Mineral Powder Modification and High-Value Utilization, Southwest University of Science and Technology, Mianyang 621010, China
4
Key Laboratory of Ministry of Education for Solid Waste Treatment and Resource Recycle, Southwest University of Science and Technology, Mianyang 621010, China
5
Institute of Multipurpose Utilization of Mineral Resources, Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences, Chengdu 610041, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Processes 2019, 7(8), 536; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr7080536
Received: 17 July 2019 / Revised: 7 August 2019 / Accepted: 12 August 2019 / Published: 14 August 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Green Separation and Extraction Processes)
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Abstract

There is 0.032% cobalt and 0.56% sulfur in the cobalt-bearing V–Ti tailings in the Panxi Region, with the metal sulfide minerals mainly including FeS2, Fe1−xS, Co3S4, and (Fe,Co)S2, and the gangue minerals mainly including aluminosilicate minerals. The flotation process was used to recover cobalt and sulfur in the cobalt-bearing V–Ti tailings. The results showed that an optimized cobalt–sulfur concentrate with a cobalt grade of 2.08%, sulfur content of 36.12%, sulfur recovery of 85.79%, and cobalt recovery and 84.77% were obtained by flotation process of one roughing, three sweeping, and three cleaning under roughing conditions, which employed pulp pH of 8, grinding fineness of <0.074 mm occupying 80%, flotation concentration of 30%, and dosages of butyl xanthate, copper sulfate, and pine oil of 100 g/t, 30 g/t, and 20 g/t, respectively. Optimized one sweeping, two sweeping, and three sweeping conditions used a pulp pH of 9, and dosages of butyl xanthate, copper sulfate, and pine oil of 50 g/t, 15 g/t, 10 g/t; 25 g/t, 7.5 g/t, 5 g/t; 20 g/t, 5 g/t, 5 g/t, respectively. Optimized one cleaning, two cleaning, and three cleaning condition dosages of sodium silicate of 200 g/t, 100 g/t, 50 g/t, respectively. Study of analysis and characterization of cobalt–sulfur concentrate by X-ray diffraction (XRD), automatic mineral analyzer (MLA), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS) showed that the main minerals in cobalt–sulfur concentrate are FeS2, Co3S4 and (Fe,Co)S2, of which FeS2 and (Fe,Co)S2 accounted for 65.64% and Co3S4 for 22.64%. Gangue minerals accounted for 11.72%. The element Co in (Fe,Co)S2 is closely related to pyrite in the form of isomorphism, and the flotability difference between cobalt and pyrite is very small, which makes it difficult to separate cobalt and sulfur. Cobalt–sulfur concentrate can be used as raw material for further separation of cobalt and sulfur in smelting by pyrometallurgical or hydrometallurgical methods. View Full-Text
Keywords: cobalt; pyrite; linneite; cobalt pyrite; V–Ti magnetite tailings; flotation cobalt; pyrite; linneite; cobalt pyrite; V–Ti magnetite tailings; flotation
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Xiao, J.; Zhang, Y. Recovering Cobalt and Sulfur in Low Grade Cobalt-Bearing V–Ti Magnetite Tailings Using Flotation Process. Processes 2019, 7, 536.

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