Continuous flotation testing to recover cobalt from Missouri lead ores
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Continuous flotation testing to recover cobalt from Missouri lead ores

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      "The Missouri lead ores are the only domestic sources of cobalt presently being mined and processed for other materials. They represent the best short-term solution for meeting up to 13 pct of the nation's strategic and critical cobalt needs from domestic sources. Presently, the cobalt is lost as an impurity in the copper, lead, and zinc concentrates and in the mill tailings because the technology to recover it with minimum impact on present production does not exist. This paper presents results of research, built upon earlier Bureau of Mines laboratory research, to enumerate the problems encountered in cobalt recovery from the copper concentrate under actual mill conditions; to present alternative solutions to these problems; and finally, to describe the best available technology for cobalt recovery within the imposed constraints. Mineralogical analyses showed the cobalt present as a distinct mineral phase, predominately siegenite, amenable to a physical separation method such as froth flotation. Flotation was chosen for recovery because of easy adaptation by the mills. Unit processes of grinding, conditioning and flotation were studied individually and in concert, and a series of continuous tests were run based on the parameters developed to obtain engineering data for subsequent economic analysis. Overall cobalt grades of 3.00 Wt pct at a recovery of 64.0 pct were achieved." - NIOSHTIC-2 NIOSH no. 10005518
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