Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile
Videla A.R., Morales R., Saint-Jean T., Gaete L., Vargas Y. and Miller J.D. (2016)

Ultrasound treatment on tailings to enhance copper flotation recovery

Revista : Minerals Engineering
Volumen : 99
Páginas : 89-95
Tipo de publicación : ISI Ir a publicación


As ore grades fall, the amount of tailings production for the same copper production is expected to rise. Flotation recovery of copper sulfide from the El Teniente plant has deteriorated in recent years, in this regard ultrasound treatment of tailings for enhanced copper recovery was evaluated in laboratory experiments. The impact of the ultrasound wave was examined under different conditions, with the conclusion that improved recovery occurs when ultrasound is applied during conditioning and flotation. The results can be explained by the effect of acoustic cavitation that cleans particle surfaces and minimizes slime coatings, facilitating the action of the reagents. In this way, improvement in copper recovery of up to 3.5% were obtained.