Document Type : Research Note
1 Mineral Processing Group, Vali-e-Asr University of Rafsanjan, Rafsanjan, Iran
2 Kashigar Mineral Processing Research Center, Shahid Bahonar University of Kerman, Kerman, Iran
3 Sarcheshmeh Copper complex, Rafsanjan, Iran
4 Mining Engineering Department, Shahid Bahonar University of Kerman, Kerman, Iran
The new copper processing plant of the Sarcheshmeh copper complex consists of two parallel circuits. After a primary crushing, the ore is sent to a SAG mill, and the product is further ground in a ball mill. The overflow of the hydrocyclones is fed to a flotation circuit that contains 8 rougher tank cells (RCS130), 3 cleaner cells (RCS50), 5 scavenger cells (RCS50), and a flotation column (as recleaner). The circuit was initially designed to process a feed containing 0.8% Cu but due to a change in the ore type, the feed grade decreased to 0.6% Cu. This resulted in a reduction in the final concentrate grade and the recovery from 28% and 85.5% to 24% and 84.4%, respectively. Based on the original design, the copper and silica recovery in the cleaner cells should be 69% and 55%, respectively, but these values increased to 85% and 75% due to a higher retention time. The rather high silica recovery was found to be the main source of the lower final concentrate grade. In order to reduce the retention time of particles in the cleaner cell from 13.7 to 6.9 min, the rougher concentrates of two parallel circuits were fed to only one cleaner-scavenger and regrind circuit. This modification increased the cleaner and final concentrate grade from 15.1% and 24.5% to 17% and 26%, respectively. The overall outcome of the circuit modification was evaluated to be a 10% reduction in the energy consumption without any loss in the overall copper recovery.