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Development of a mathematical model of a molybdenite leaching process

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Title: Development of a mathematical model of a molybdenite leaching process
Author: Parsons, Geoffrey Joseph
Degree Master of Applied Science - MASc
Program Metallurgy
Copyright Date: 1978
Abstract: A mathematical model has been developed for the more critical section of a proposed molybdenite/nitric acid leaching process. The model accounts for the unit operations of leaching, grinding and flotation, with the leaching simulation involving the most rigorous formulation. The accuracy of the model could not be evaluated at this stage owing to the lack of an operating pilot- or commercial-scale plant. Simulation of leaching is based on mass balancing with determination of reaction rates from the individual components of the rate equations. The rate of leaching of molybdenite is accounted for as a function of solution reactivity, active surface area per reference weight, pulp density and temperature. The leaching of contained pyrite and chalcopyrite are similarly accounted for but in a more simplified manner. The grinding model is based on a combination of theory and empiricism while the flotation model is derived from the simple first-order rate equation. The simulation is still subject to some uncertainty since verification is not possible at this stage of process development. However, the model effectively accounts for the complex system involving a solids recycle stream. The effects of new solids flow and analysis, leachant flow and strength, leaching temperature, partial flotation bypass, leaching vessel size and number, grinding mill size, number and size of flotation cells are all considered.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2429/21162
Series/Report no. UBC Retrospective Theses Digitization Project [http://www.library.ubc.ca/archives/retro_theses/]

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