Understanding DETA in the Strathcona Tailings Area

Glencore is considering the use of DETA (diethylenetriamine), a mineral processing reagent, to improve process performance in Strathcona Mill, located near Sudbury, Ontario. DETA forms soluble complexes with nickel and copper ions, and can cause the concentration of these metal ions to exceed the value permitted in the final effluent. The objectives of this project are to conduct geochemical modeling to determine the concentration of metals in solution with DETA under conditions relevant to the Strathcona Mill tailings area, and to determine how much DETA adsorbs on the mineral solids, and how much remains in solution. The results will be used as the basis for a larger research project. If Glencore can safely use DETA, the company will be able to improve nickel recovery and concentrate grade, which will have a large economic benefit.

Faculty Supervisor:

Erin Bobicki


Xinyi Tian


Glencore Canada Corporation




Mining and quarrying




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