Silver Ore Processing

There are many kinds of silver minerals in nature. Among them, the silver-bearing minerals with production value include natural silver, gold and silver ore, silver ore, deep red silver ore, horn silver ore, antimony silver ore and so on.

In ores, silver is often associated with lead-zinc ore, copper ore, gold ore, limonite, and can be recovered together with other minerals. According to the different properties of the ore, the silver beneficiation process required for it is also different.

Main types of silver ore

Silver-bearing ores are mainly divided into gold-silver ores and lead-zinc-copper associated silver ores. Their silver production accounts for more than 99% of the total output.

1. Silver-gold ores: There are many kinds of silver minerals in silver-gold ores, and they often appear in various states, so the treatment of gold-silver ore often adopts two or more combined process methods.

  • When the silver minerals are mainly algite and natural silver, both flotation and cyanidation are acceptable;
  • When the ore contains a large amount of difficult cyanide minerals such as deep red silver ore, pale red silver ore, selenium silver ore, etc., only flotation can be used.

2. Lead Zinc Copper Associated Silver Ore:Due to the complex mineral composition, the symbiotic relationship, the embedded characteristics, and the degree of oxidation, etc., the selection effect is also very different. But in terms of beneficiation methods, silver ore flotation separation is a commonly used method. In general, the recovery rate of lead-zinc-copper associated silver ore is lower than that of silver-gold ores, generally between 50 and 70%.

Taking the independent silver mine mainly producing silver as an example, its beneficiation method usually adopts silver ore flotation process. The associated silver ore adopts a single flotation method, a combined process of flotation-gravity method, and flotation-cyanidation leaching method.

silver ore processing methods

The selection of silver ore beneficiation process is usually determined according to the properties of gold and silver ore and product specifications.

  •  Flotation separation is suitable for silver ore with fine inlaid particle size and strict symbiosis with sulfide ore.
  • Gravity separation method is used to treat the silver ore separated from the monomer, that is, the silver with the coarse particle size and the free state is embedded. There is no pollution and low cost when the silver is recovered by gravity separation. The main equipment used are spiral chute, shaking table, jig and so on. The reselection is often combined with the silver ore flotation process.
  • Cyanide leaching methods is mainly used for silver sulfide minerals. In order to increase efficiency, gold and silver concentrates are selected and then cyanided on-site to produce gold and silver.
  • Gravity separation and flotation combined process is suitable for ore with high grade but uneven particle size and easy to dissociate, which can improve the silver ore recovery rate and reduce certain beneficiation costs.
  • Flotation-cyanation leaching combined process is suitable for recovering sulfide ore embedded in gangue minerals to obtain a small amount of concentrate through flotation, and then cyanidation treatment can improve the recovery rate of silver ore.

Silver ore processing plant

Crushing stage
The content of silver in the ore is extremely low. In order to extract the silver, the silver ore needs to be crushed and ground, and the beneficiation method is used to pre-enrich or separate the silver from the ore. The jaw crusher is used for coarse crushing and medium crushing, and the cone crusher is used for fine crushing.

Grinding stage
The screened final product is ground through the first stage ball mill and forms closed-circuit grinding with the classification mechanism. The silver inlaid in silver-bearing minerals has fine particle size and complicated occurrence state. Therefore, in the preparation stage of the silver ore beneficiation process, grinding is very important.

Separating stage
Depending on the nature of the ore, the silver ore beneficiation process required for it is also different. Including gravity separation, flotation, cyanidation, flotation, combined beneficiation and other methods.

Dehydration stage
After the desired minerals are separated, because they contain a lot of water, they must be preliminarily concentrated by a thickener, and a filter press is used for the first and second stages of dehydration. The tailings are directly discharged to the original tailings pond, and the backwater is recycled.

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