January 21, 2022

Copper-molybdenum separation in molybdenite

A wide range of copper minerals in nature, molybdenum ore or copper - molybdenum ore in the primary copper minerals chalcopyrite and chalcocite.
Chalcopyrite (CuFeS 2 ) contains Cu 34.56 and S34.92%. It is the most common and the most valuable natural copper mineral in nature. Its crystal structure is shown in the figure below.
Chalcopyrite crystal structure
The copper ore (Cu 2 S) contains Cu79.86% and S 20-14%, and has internal ore formation, but it is more found in the secondary enriched copper ore belt formed by oxidation leaching. It is the copper sulfide mineral with the highest copper content.
The porphyrite (Cu5FeS4) contains 63.3% Cu and S25.5%.
Copper blue (CuS) contains Cu67. 1%, S32.9%, which is also a common copper sulfide mineral, but the content is often very small.
The molybdenite produced by different molybdenum deposits or copper-molybdenum deposits has different ore-forming conditions and the flotation behavior is not the same. The distribution of molybdenite and copper sulfide minerals is different (the molybdenite is usually earlier than copper minerals). This has many adverse effects on copper-molybdenum separation. A common copper-molybdenum separation process is shown in the following table.
Table Common copper-molybdenum separation process
Craft or pharmacy
Inhibitor only
Molybdenum floating copper
Dextrin inhibits molybdenum, xanthate captures copper minerals
Copper-free molybdenum
NaCN, KCN, Na 4 Fe(CN) 4 , Na 3 Fe(CN) 4
Na 2 S, NaHS, (NH 4 ) 2 S
P-Nokes (LR-744), As-Nokes (Anamol-D)
Organic inhibitor
Oxidant + inhibitor
NaOC+Na 4 Fe(CN) 6 ;H 2 O 2 +Na 4 Fe(CN) 6
Nitrogen-filled + inhibitor
N 2 +Na 2 S(NaHS); N 2 +Nokes
Heat treatment + inhibitor
Roasting method
It should be noted that the inhibitors may be used singly or in combination, and in order to exert synergistic effects of the agents, the combination of several inhibitors is better.

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