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Mineralogy study on a low-grade Cu-Ni-PGM sulfide ore in Jinbaoshan, China

Minerals & Metallurgical Processing , 2012, Vol. 29, No. 3, pp. 172-176

Liu, Siqing; Tong, Xiong; Song, Baoxu; Wen, Shuming


The Jinbaoshan serpentine complex is characterized by low grades Cu, Ni and platinum group metals (PGM), and little is known about the relative abundance of the valuable minerals and gangue. With the aid of modern testing instruments, such as a scanning electron microscope (SEM) and an X-ray diffractometer (XRD), the occurrence and distribution of Cu, Ni and platinum group minerals (PGMs) were investigated in detail. Results show that eighteen categories of PGMs are found in the ore, mainly occurring as individual minerals; the PGMs are mainly disseminated in the sulfide in inclusions or semi-inclusions; some are inlaid along with other minerals to form a coarse assemblage. The base metal sulfides (BMS), such as pyrrhotite, pentlandite and chalcopyrite, are regarded as the “carrier” of PGMs, and serpentine is the major gangue, which has negative impact on mineral processing and extractive metallurgy.