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Topic 1: Types of ore Bodies and Mine Processes

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1 Topic 1: Types of ore Bodies and Mine Processes
Extraction Open Pit Strip Mining Underground Crushing Initial Autogenous Circuit Beneficiation Physical Chemical Electrochemical Smelting

2 Types of Ore Massive: base metal Cu, Ni, Zn Disseminated: gold,
INCO Thompson Ni ore Massive: base metal Cu, Ni, Zn Disseminated: gold, Diamonds Snow Lake 0.16 oz Au / tonne Ekati, NWT, Diamonds Bissett Au

3 Bedded Ore bodies Potash, Saskatchewan Syncrude, Oil sands,
Fort McMurray Black Thunder Coal Mine Wyoming, USA

4 Extraction process depend on shape, position and value of ore body
Open Pit Strip Mining Underground Mine Dissolution: potash, uranium, In situ mobilization: oil shale Heap Leach What are the major environmental issues related to each form of extraction?

5 Open Pit Bingham Canyon Cu Mine Ekati Diamond Mine
Note: The amount of waste rock to be removed to provide reasonable gradient for trucks. Only efficient for large ore bodies close to the surface Can be useful for dumping mine waste at closure

6 Strip Mining Very efficient for high level flat lying ore bodies.
Overburden and top soil can be replaced minimizing environmental damage

7 Underground

8 Dissolution: potash, uranium In situ mobilization: sulfur, oil shale
NaCl or KCl dissolved in water Acid in situ leach of metallic ore Hot water or steam used to mobilize sulfur or oil

9 Heap Leach Landusky, Montana, CN Heap Leach Gold Mine

10 Crushing Ore bearing and non ore-bearing rock will be separated as soon as possible What happens to non-ore-bearing rock? Ore-bearing rock will be crushed to the size necessary to liberate the required mineral Heap leach requires only very coarse crushing Much finer crushing for gold and PGE as they are enclosed within other mineral grains Initial crushing underground In mill, crushing in autogenous circuit with feedback of large particles Final crushing in rod or ball mills

11 Beneficiation (Extraction of metal from rock/mineral)
Physical techniques Gravity Gold from quartz Diamonds Tantalum Flotation Sulphides from silicates Cu and Ni sulphides NaCl from KCl Chemical Techniques CN leaching Roaster oxidizes sulphide to SO2 Smelting Electrochemical Refining of pure metal Consider the waste generated at each stage

12 Gravity Separation Whiffle table Separator Fine grained waste goes to tailings pond. What does it contain?

13 Flotation Cells Ore becomes attached to air bubbles, float, and are collected. Gangue sinks to the bottom of the flotation cells and piped to tailings pond Chemicals added include: Frothers: pine oils & alcohols promote the formation and stability of bubbles. Collectors promote adherence of air bubbles to the mineral. Conditioners: make the surface of the mineral particle either more or less susceptible to concentration. Activators e.g. copper sulfate, lead nitrate, lead acetate Depressants e.g. sodium cyanide, zinc sulfate

14 Chemical Separation Cyanide leaching for gold
at pH 11 gold retrieved by Merrill Crowe (precipitation on zinc dust) or Carbon in Pulp (CIP) process Roaster oxidizes sulphide to SO2 Releases metal for refining and SO2 to the atmosphere unless scrubbers are in place

15 Smelting Separates remaining silicates from metals
Slag (molten silicates) pored off Metal pores into bars or sent for final electochemical refining

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