Molybdenum is a silvery-white metal with a relatively high melting point of 2,610°C, which makes it an important industrial material for various applications, such as steel production, electronics, and aerospace industries. Molybdenum ore is usually associated with copper sulfide ores and is commonly found in porphyry copper deposits.
Molybdenum beneficiation equipment typically includes crushing, grinding, flotation, and dewatering stages. The specific equipment used in each stage may vary depending on the ore characteristics and the beneficiation process adopted.
Crushing Stage: The molybdenum ore is crushed by a jaw crusher or a cone crusher to a smaller size suitable for grinding.
Grinding Stage: The crushed ore is then ground in ball mills and rod mills. The purpose of grinding is to separate the molybdenum minerals from the gangue minerals and expose the former for the subsequent flotation process.
Flotation Stage: Molybdenum sulfide is a good natural floatable mineral, and the main beneficiation method is flotation. The flotation process involves adding reagents to the ground ore slurry to selectively attach to and float the molybdenum minerals.
The common reagents used in the molybdenum flotation process include collectors, frothers, depressants, and regulators. Collectors, such as xanthates, dithiophosphates, and thionocarbamates, are used to selectively adsorb on molybdenum sulfide minerals. Frothers, such as pine oil, are used to create a stable foam to separate the molybdenum minerals from the gangue minerals. Depressants, such as sodium silicate, are used to inhibit the floatation of gangue minerals. Regulators, such as lime, are used to adjust the pH value of the slurry.
Dewatering Stage: The final stage of molybdenum beneficiation is dewatering, where the flotation concentrate is dewatered using thickeners and filters to produce a final concentrate with a molybdenum content of around 50-60%.
Commonly used equipment in the molybdenum beneficiation process includes jaw crushers, cone crushers, ball mills, rod mills, flotation machines, thickener, and filters. The selection of equipment will depend on the nature of the ore, the size of the mine, and the final product requirements.