Investigation of mineral deportment in a copper ore from Botswana

N. Poloko, L. K. Moatlhodi, G. Danha

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Understanding the characteristics of minerals is key in developing effective techniques for copper ore processing to maximise recovery hence income. Most studies have focused on understanding the fundamentals and principles of dissolution kinetics, oxidation and leaching of copper minerals. New developments and technologies have made it possible to reveal that copper ores are fascinating and complex minerals. Other research concentrates on chemical and mineralogical analysis, hence revealing information such as properties, compositional change and analysis. In this paper X-Ray Diffraction (XRD) and Quantitative Evaluation of Minerals Scanning Electron Microscopy (QEMSCAN) are used as tools in quantifying chemical and mineralogical attributes of a copper ore (chalcocite bearing mineral) from Botswana as the objective. Obtained information was not limited to grain size and distribution, mineral associations and liberations characteristics of economic minerals in the ore and quantitative information being the latter. XRF indicates that the copper ore contains phases such as Al203, CaO, MgO, TiO2, V2O5 and SiO2, which is the dominant mineral with 60.6 wt% as well as traces of elements Fe, S, Pb, and Co with wt% of <0.02. Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) peaks also confirmed these elements to exist in the mineral. Quantitative X-Ray Diffraction (QXRD) analysis entailed phases present with silicates being the dominant phases and their existence on the mineral by wt%. SEM peaks showed evidence of Fe, Si, Cu, S etc. which is consistent with XRF data. In addition QESCAN also revealed grain size of cuprite particles to be greater than 45 μm with < 0.24 % liberated. The copper ore is characterized with a possibility of extracting metals or elements of economic value.

Original languageEnglish
Article number012024
JournalIOP Conference Series: Materials Science and Engineering
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Sept 19 2019
EventMineral Engineering Conference 2019, MEC 2019 - Kocierz, Beskid Maly, Poland
Duration: Sept 16 2019Sept 19 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Engineering(all)


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