Robin Super HBSc thesis abstract

Thesis Title: 
Nickel and Copper Beneficiation of Samapleu Ore: A Comparison of Process Geology of Two Metallurgical Processes

Geological and mineralogical surveillance of metallurgical test work was conducted on reject from the Samapleu Deposit under exploration by Sama Resources Inc., in Cote D’Ivoire.  The grade of the rejects are 2810 ppm Ni and 2520 ppm Cu. Metallurgical testing yielded recoveries of 91% Copper and 71% Nickel, and respective grades of 18200 ppm and 16400 ppm for the rougher concentrate of a one stage flotation after milling to a P20 of 27 µm, a P50 of 59 µm and a P80 of 87 µm.  The milled reject was subject to testing on a Wifley shaking table and yielded 28% recovery at a grade of 9160 ppm for nickel and 18% recovery at 5100 ppm for copper concentrates.  Geological testwork involved conducting optical microscopy on metallurgical samples as well as characterizing the wall rocks. X ray diffraction and electron microscopy were used as to enhance knowledge of minerals.  The reject was websteritic with an approximate grade of 40% enstatite with minor blue green clinoamphiboles of either pargasitic, edenitic or magnesiohastingsitic composition and deep green clinoenstatite.  Mineralization was determined to be in discrete grains or along cleavage faces.  Assemblage was predominantly pyrrhotite with minor pentlandite and fine-grained flaky chalcopyrite, some fine-grained magnetite was present.  Tabling brought a form of sorting of minerals in specific size ranges and floatation favored the fine over milled chalcopyrite.  Results of experimentation suggested that flotation is a suitable beneficiation treatment for this ore.  Gravity based tabling yielded poor results in both grade concentration and recovery and is not a recommended concentration method for this ore.