Causes of degradation of production data in flotation of copper-bearing sulfide ore extracted from cupriferous pyrite deposit by open stoping

Copper is a non-ferrous heavy metal in high demand in economy. In the meanwhile, the global copper resources diminish irrespective of the commercial type of ore deposits. The article gives the test data of three ore samples taken from different sites of the same ore body within a cupriferous pyrite deposit subjected to mining by the stoping method. Based on the analyses of chemistry, grain composition and mineralogy of the three samples: Sample 1 (Cu = 2.91%, As=0.54%, S=33.9%); Sample 2 (Cu =1.87%, As=0.43%, S=25.65%); Sample 3 (Cu= =1.30%, As=0.55%, S=14.95%) and lab-scale in-process flotation tests, it is found that at the same qualitative composition of minerals, all samples have different quantitative composition of minerals and grain composition. Thus, the flotation production data of the samples using the same flow chart differ. Copper sulfides are chalcopyrite, tennantite, bornite and micro-sized copper noddles in pyrite. Melnikovite as a species of floatable pyrite is present in a greater degree in Sample 1 and in a lesser degree in Sample 3. The least content of copper (Sample 3) goes with much fee chalcopyrite and a fewer sulfide sulfur but 1.3 of sulfur is elemental sulfur. The kinetics of increment in the check size (-71 μm) in milling is inversely proportional the content of natural minerals in a sample. Better quality copper concentrates of the first multistage flotation are obtained in rough milling (content of the check size -71 μm is 30%). In case of Sample 1 containing 43% of copper in pyrite, the lowest loss of copper is achieved in 4-stage milling and multistage dressing. Aiming to have stable production data of copper concentrate (quality of 18% and above at the recovery more than 82%), it is required to introduce blending of the produced ore, or a system of real-time control of the ore feed in order to timely modify the reagent regime (type of sulfhydryl collector or a composition of sulfhydryl collectors, range of pH or residual concentration of CaO, inclusion of aeration, etc.) and the flow chart (number of milling stages).

Keywords: flotation, copper sulfides, material constitution, production data, stoping mining method.
For citation:

Ignatkina V. A., Makavetskas A.R., Kayumov A. А., Aksenova D. D. Causes of degradation of production data in flotation of copper-bearing sulfide ore extracted from cupriferous pyrite deposit by open stoping. MIAB. Mining Inf. Anal. Bull. 2021;(9):5-22. [In Russ]. DOI: 10.25018/0236_1493_2021_9_0_5.

Issue number: 9
Year: 2021
Page number: 5-22
ISBN: 0236-1493
UDK: 622.7
DOI: 10.25018/0236_1493_2021_9_0_5
Article receipt date: 02.05.2021
Date of review receipt: 15.06.2021
Date of the editorial board′s decision on the article′s publishing: 10.08.2021
About authors:

V.A. Ignatkina1, Dr. Sci. (Eng.), Assistant Professor, Professor, e-mail:,
A.R. Makavetskas1, Leading Engineer, e-mail:, Center for Resource-Saving Technologies for Processing Mineral Raw Materials,
Kayumov A.A.1, Cand. Sci. (Eng.), Leading Engineer, LLC «Research and Development Enterprise Center-ESTAgeo», Moscow, Russia, e-mail:,
D.D. Aksenova1, Graduate Student, e-mail:,
1 National University of Science and Technology «MISiS», 119049, Moscow, Russia.


For contacts:

V.A. Ignatkina, e-mail:


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