Extracting more valuable minerals from low grade and waste ore deposits

A research team led by Professor Yongjun Peng at The University of Queensland will lead a project that aims to understand the reactions taking place on the most important waste mineral that interferes with the recovery of base-metal and precious minerals from ore deposits. Understanding how to process lower grade complex ores by rejecting waste minerals is increasingly important in mineral separation and metal extraction plants around the world. With $555,000 from the Australian Government through an ARC Linkage Projects scheme grant, as well as support from Newcrest Mining, Vega industries, and Sierra Gorda SCM, these researchers will develop new technologies that manipulate these reactions to achieve mineral separation and metal extraction efficiently and economically. These technologies may provide value in processing low quality complex polymetallic resources using low quality water, whilst halving the operating costs of mineral concentrators and providing corresponding reductions in harmful emissions.

Image: Flotation is used while processing metal ores to separate valuable metals from gangue waste materials.
Image courtesy: Geomartin; Wikimedia commons.

Original Published Date: 
Monday, January 30, 2017