Pressure filtration of copper concentrate at Mines Northgate Patino Inc.

CIM Bulletin, Vol. 80, No. 907, 1987

G. LADOUCEUR, Mines Northgate Patino Inc., Chibougamau, Quebec

Northgate Patino Mines produces a copper concentrate assaying 22% Cu. Moisture content of the product averages 12.5% H2O when dewatering with conventional vacuum disk filters. Recent smelter contracts reflect higher energy costs and increased moisutre penalty charges. This situation forced Northgate to investigate possible alternatives such as rotary dryers and pressure filtration. After laboratory testing, it was found that pressure filtration could economically meet the smelter's requirements. Pilot plant testing was then undertaken and confirmed the laboratory test results. Based on these findings, a model I.S.F. 1500 x 28/22 I.R. Lasta filter press was purchased. This paper describes the Copper Rand dewatering flowsheet, the operation of the press and the economics of the process.
Keywords: Mineral processing, Dewatering, Copper concentrate, Northgate Patino mines, Copper Rand dewatering.