A study of transportation and storage characteristics of a chalcopyrite concentrate from Neves Corvo Mine, Alentejo, Portugal

CIM Bulletin, Vol. 82, No. 923, 1989

R.A. Guedes de Carvalho, C.G. Gonzalez Beca, M.N. Sampaio, O. Neves, M.C. Sol Pereira and H. Sousa Vale, Universidade do Porto, Centre de Engenharia Quimica, Portugal

As sulphide ores are usually concentrated by flotation, the material is very finely ground (< 37 pm), wet and impregnated with the chemicals used in flotation. These conditions are favourable to the development of chemical reactions which are largely influenced by atmospheric conditions (temperature, humidity, wind, etc.) as well as by the geometry of the piles. Physical and chemical properties of a chalcopyrite concentrate were determined by laboratory tests. The knowledge of these properties was considered necessary in order to establish a correct design of the storage and handling operations of the sulphide ore concentrates obtained by flotation. The properties studied in this work were: transportable moisture limit, flowability, effects of vibration, hygroscopicity, "caking", chemical alterations by humidity, oxidation and self-heating (auto-ignition, dry and wet oxidation, self-heating by humidification and its prevention).
Keywords: Mineral processing, Chalcopyrite, Transportation, Storage, Flotation