ABSTRACT:

In the cobalt-rich manganese deposits (CRMD), the valuable metals such as cobalt, nickel and copper are mainly found amorphous among manganese oxides or iron oxyhydroxides. Therefore, it is not appropriate to evaluate separation performances by the "Newton efficiency" here, in the case where the ideal yield (νο) of feed cannot be determined for CRMD processing. The authors investigated some mineral processing experimental data given by the Deep Ocean Minerals Association (DOMA). The data from selective crushing, gravity concentration, magnetic separation and flotation were studied or evaluated by introducing the so-called "technical efficiency" other than "Newton efficiency". That is to say, the authors tried to elaborate the data by applying this criterion, "technical efficiency" from an economic point of view.

INTRODUCTION

Cobalt-rich manganese deposit (CRMD) is one of underwater mineral resources. A significant merit of developing cobalt-rich manganese deposits is a relatively low mining cost, because they are usually found on sea mountains i.e under rather shallow waters. Excavated ores, however, are likely accompanied with basement rocks, e.g. basalt, because the typical cobalt-rich crust is formed as a thin layered coating on the seatloor rocks. Thereby, mineral processing can be thought to be effective for separation of the metal-bearing crust from the accompanying rocks. Such a separation of cobalt-rich crust from those rocks is indispensable to recover valuable metals. Howevers the valuable metals such as cobalt, nickel and copper are mainly found amorphous in the manganese oxides or iron oxyhydroxides without forming definite mineral phases. In order to evaluate separation performances of cobalt-rich manganese crust recovery from the basement rocks mined or excavated with it, the above mentioned property of CRMD should not be overlooked. From this point of view the authors investigated further the mineral processing experimental data given by the Deep Ocean Minerals Association, Japan (DOMA).

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