Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Degree

Master of Science

Program

Geology

Supervisor

Dr. Brian Hart

Abstract

The LaRonde mine is a gold-rich VMS deposit in the Abitibi Greenstone Belt of Canada. Like many polymetallic ore deposits, loss of sphalerite occurs during the Cu circuit of flotation separation at the mill. Zinc sulphate was tested as a sphalerite depressant. XRD, TOF-SIMS and XPS were used to examine the mineralogy and surface chemistry of ore samples collected at select stages of the milling process in the mill and in the laboratory. Data analyses showed that ZnSO4 likely promotes sulphoxyl and hydroxide adsorption to the sphalerite surface inhibiting Cu activation. Addition of ZnSO4 in the LaRonde mill has reduced the amount of sphalerite recovered in the Cu concentrate by one third.


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Geochemistry Commons

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