New processing chemicals supplied to copper miner

17th November 2023 By: Halima Frost - Senior Writer

New processing chemicals supplied to copper miner

ATTAINING COPPER Copper ore is processed into a refined product using collectors, depressants and frothers supplied by Axis House

Consequent to a complete ore characteristics analysis for a new client in the copper processing sector, South African chemical company Axis House has supplied collectors, depressants and frothers to the client, who has reported an improvement in product quality and a reduction in operational costs as a result.

The client is using collectors from Axis House’s UniQ and AM ranges, depressants from its Revadep range and frothers from its Hydrofroth range.

“Axis House analysed the ore characteristics, tested the products chosen based on our expertise, and shared the results with the client,” says Axis House project metallurgist Travis Myburgh.

After confirming the performance at laboratory scale, Axis House metallurgists get involved in upscaling the product at plant scale.

This, Myburgh adds, provides a level of confidence in the product before clients fully commit to using reagents on a permanent basis.

“Ongoing work to further improve the process or supply chain also ensures that our clients’ process is as efficient as possible.”

Further, Axis House uses road and rail freight to optimise its supply chain.

“Our diverse freight offering, through our network of suppliers, encompasses an end-to-end solution, ensuring that we deliver a superior product to our valued customers at the most competitive price in the fastest possible time, resulting in cost savings for the end-user,” Myburgh elaborates.

In the Mix

Axis House specialises in applying different chemistries to different types of ores to enhance the separation of mined materials.

Ore bodies differ in composition and, therefore, exhibit different processing requirements. All of its major improvements revolve around selecting and applying various reagent chemistries harmoniously and holistically so that the client can produce their desired product.

“In the hydrometallurgical sphere, the basic chemistry of leaching has remained the same; however, producing saleable copper cathodes from the leached solution has involved some modifications, especially in the solvent extraction and electrowinning applications,” adds Myburgh.

Diluents, extractants, acid mist suppressants and smoothing agents are constantly being developed in copper separation to improve the safety of the process and quality of final product.

The Axis House reagent range covers the flotation and hydrometallurgy circuit of processing plants, from the UniQ and AM series for sulphide and oxide flotation to ALC7G smoothing agents and VitriAx mist suppressants.

“Our Bronte range of flocculants are also widely used in the solid-liquid separation, whether in neutral or acidic environments.”

The development of the range starts at the Axis House metallurgical laboratory, in Cape Town, where all products are tested, in addition to defining the various mineral types and the application thereof, Myburgh concludes.