Richard K.K. Mbaya

Publications

2 Leaching Characteristics of Upgraded Copper Flotation Tailings

Authors: Mercy M. Ramakokovhu, Henry Kasaini, Richard K.K. Mbaya

Abstract:

The copper flotation tailings from Konkola Copper mine in Nchanga, Zambia were used in the study. The purpose of this study was to determine the leaching characteristics of the tailings material prior and after the physical beneficiation process is employed. The Knelson gravity concentrator (KC-MD3) was used for the beneficiation process. The copper leaching efficiencies and impurity co-extraction percentages in both the upgraded and the raw feed material were determined at different pH levels and temperature. It was observed that the copper extraction increased with an increase in temperature and a decrease in pH levels. In comparison to the raw feed sample, the upgraded sample reported a maximum copper extraction of 69% which was 9%, higher than raw feed % extractions. The impurity carry over was reduced from 18% to 4 % on the upgraded sample. The reduction in impurity co-extraction was as a result of the removal of the reactive gangue elements during the upgrading process, this minimized the number of side reaction occurring during leaching.

Keywords: Iron, Copper, Atmospheric leaching, Knelson concentrator

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1 Leaching Behaviour of a Low-grade South African Nickel Laterite

Authors: Catherine K. Thubakgale, Richard K.K. Mbaya, Kaby Kabongo

Abstract:

The morphology, mineralogical and chemical composition of a low-grade nickel ore from Mpumalanga, South Africa, were studied by scanning electron microscope (SEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD) and X-ray fluorescence (XRF), respectively. The ore was subjected to atmospheric agitation leaching using sulphuric acid to investigate the effects of acid concentration, leaching temperature, leaching time and particle size on extraction of nickel and cobalt. Analyses results indicated the ore to be a saprolitic nickel laterite belonging to the serpentine group of minerals. Sulphuric acid was found to be able to extract nickel from the ore. Increased acid concentration and temperature only produced low amounts of nickel but improved cobalt extraction. As high as 77.44% Ni was achieved when leaching a -106+75μm fraction with 4.0M acid concentration at 25oC. The kinetics of nickel leaching from the saprolitic ore were studied and the activation energy was determined to be 18.16kJ/mol. This indicated that nickel leaching reaction was diffusion controlled.

Keywords: Nickel, laterite, sulphuric acid, Atmospheric leaching

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