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In nature, sulfide ores at the upper part of the nonferrous metal deposit after long term weathering (such as the role of oxygen and ions in the air or water) will form the Oxidized ore zone that is to say the Oxide mineral or mineral containing oxygen. The content of the oxidized ore differs with the oxidation depth. The ore can be divided into three types that are Oxide ore (commonly known as oxide ore), sulfide ore (commonly known as sulfide ore), mixed ore (commonly known as mixed ore) by the ore oxidation rate which means the mass fraction of a metal in the presence of an oxide mineral and containing mineral oxygen. Generally speaking, the mineral with higher oxidation rate will have more loose structure and more content of mud. Thus the difficulty of beneficiation will be larger.
The separation of copper sulphide minerals and iron sulfide minerals can also be called as the separation of copper and sulfur. Copper sulfur separation scheme is generally preferred flotation, mixed flotation or preferential-mixing flotation process, among which the copper is firstly floated by the preferred flotation. The reagent is used in it is as followings: pyrite inhibitors are general lime in the environment of pH = 12 ~ 11 as well as the collector of sulfide copper are usual xanthate or xanthate and aerofloat. Mixed flotation is generally carried out in a neutral medium. Adding the lime to improve the PH value of the slurry to inhibit the pyrite in separating the concentration of the copper and sulfide in the process of the mixed flotation. Sphalerite is a kind of sulfide minerals which is difficult to float. The floatability will differ with the content of the impurity. Copper sulfate is a common activation in the flotation process of sphalerite. And zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, sulfite, sodium sulfide, thiosulfate or sulfur dioxide gas all can inhibit the flotation of Marmatite. There are two kinds of ways for the flotation of copper and nickel which are preferred flotation and mixed flotation. The preferred flotation is suitable for such ores as the content of copper is higher than nickel and as the mineral symbiotic relation is not too complex. The copper and the nickel concentrate can be got conveniently in the preferred flotation. But for the nickel ore is seriously inhibited which leads to the low recovery rate of the Nickle. So this method should not be used usually.
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