ABSTRACT

Seafloor massive sulfides (SMS) which contain Au, Ag, Cu, Zn, and Pb have been interested in as a target of commercial mining these 15 years. Japan has large potential of SMS and a national R&D project for the mining has been active these 5 years. However, the economy of SMS mining is very bad, because the waste tailing disposal cost is very expensive in Japan. A slurry flushing method is experimentally examined in this study for the improvement of the economy. During the flushing, because of density difference between the metal-rich ore and the waste rock, a kind of gravity separation is possible. The results suggest a possibility of the actual application.

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