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Cyril О’Connor
Cyril О’Connor
Professor, Ph.D., Dr.Sci.
University of Cape Town
Cape Town South Africa
Professor, Ph.D., Dr.Sci.
University of Cape Town
Cape Town
South Africa
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Articles

  • Date submitted
    2020-04-15
  • Date accepted
    2020-06-12
  • Date published
    2020-07-30

Processing of platinum group metal ores in Russia and South Africa: current state and prospects

The presented study is devoted to a comparative review of the mineral raw material base of platinum group metals (PGMs) and technologies of their processing in South Africa and Russia, the largest PGM producers. Mineralogical and geochemical classification and industrial value of iron-platinum and platinum-bearing deposits are presented in this work. The paper also reviews types of PGM ore body occurrences, ore processing methods (with a special focus on flotation processes), as well as difficulties encountered by enterprises at the processing stage, as they increase recovery of the valuable components. Data on mineralogical features of PGM deposits, including the distribution of elements in the ores, are provided. The main lines of research on mineralogical features and processing of raw materials of various genesis are identified and validated. Sulfide deposits are found to be of the highest industrial value in both countries. Such unconventional PGM sources, as black shale, dunites, chromite, low-sulfide, chromium and titanomagnetite ores, anthropogenic raw materials, etc. are considered. The main lines of research that would bring into processing non-conventional metal sources are substantiated. Analysis of new processing and metallurgical methods of PGM recovery from non-conventional and industrial raw materials is conducted; the review of existing processing technologies for platinum-bearing raw materials is carried out. Technologies that utilize modern equipment for ultrafine grinding are considered, as well as existing reagents for flotation recovery; evaluation of their selectivity in relation to platinum minerals is presented. Basing on the analysis of main technological processes of PGM ore treatment, the most efficient schemes are identified, i.e.,gravity and flotation treatment with subsequent metallurgical processing.

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Tatyana N. Aleksandrova, Cyril О’Connor (2020) Processing of platinum group metal ores in Russia and South Africa: current state and prospects. Journal of Mining Institute. Vol 244. p. 462-473. DOI: 10.31897/pmi.2020.4.9