Table of Contents
Physical Separation in Science and Engineering
Volume 12 (2003), Issue 1, Pages 23-30

The Effect of Heat Treatment on Chalcopyrite

1Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TT, UK
2School of Chemical, Environmental and Mining Engineering, University of Nottingham, University Park, Nottingham NG7 2RD, UK

Received 6 December 2002; Accepted 23 December 2002

Copyright © 2003 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The influence of conventional heat treatment and microwave radiation on chalcopyrite was investigated. There was a significant increase in the proportion of material recovered to magnetic fraction and magnetic susceptibility with conventional heating time. XRD analysis detected phase changes in conventional heat-treated chalcopyrite, which increases the magnetic susceptibility of the ore and enables its effective magnetic separation, which is impossible to achieve in its original state.

With microwave treatment, the magnetic susceptibility increases and the proportion of material recovered to magnetic fraction on the induced rolls is also increased. However, XRD analysis failed to detect any phase changes. A possible explanation for this observed behaviour is that the more magnetic component that has been formed by microwave treatment is below the threshold of detection of the XRD analyser. Taking into account that results from the froth flotation tests indicated that % weight fraction in the concentrate decreases with microwave exposure time, the change might be due to a surface effect.