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a new approach to selectively reject naturally hydrophobic gangue in the flotation of base metal sulphide minerals | springerlink

a new approach to selectively reject naturally hydrophobic gangue in the flotation of base metal sulphide minerals | springerlink

Efficient separation of naturally hydrophobic gangue, such as talc and carbonaceous materials, from sulphide minerals in flotation is becoming a significant challenge in many processing plants due to the need to process lower grade and more complex ores. Considering the hydrophobic nature of these gangue minerals, prefloating them at the beginning of the flotation circuit in the absence of collectors and rejecting the concentrate is a common practice to remove these gangue minerals. However, sulphide minerals, such as chalcopyrite, can become naturally floatable due to surface oxidation and therefore may float together with naturally hydrophobic gangue. In this study, a new approach was developed to maximize the prefloat of hydrophobic gangue while minimizing the loss of sulphide minerals. The new approach introduced a prefloat cleaner stage where sulphide minerals recovered to the prefloat concentrate was depressed and separated from other hydrophobic gangue minerals at a low pulp potential with the prefloat cleaner tailing fed back to the main sulphide flotation circuit. Flotation tests were conducted using chalcopyrite and organic carbon. The results show that the proposed approach can significantly reduce the loss of valuable minerals in the prefloat flotation without affecting the reject of naturally hydrophobic gangue. Applying pulp potential control at the prefloat cleaner flotation stage also reduces the consumption of reducing agents while minimizing the effect of reducing agents on downstream rougher flotation.

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Xumeng Chen: conceptualization, design, methodology, software, data acquisition, analysis and interpretation, and writingoriginal draft, review, and editing. Sunfangze Liu: methodology, data acquisition, analysis, and interpretation. Yongjun Peng: conceptualization, resources, writingcritically review and editing, supervision, project administration, and funding acquisition.

Chen, X., Liu, S. & Peng, Y. A New Approach to Selectively Reject Naturally Hydrophobic Gangue in the Flotation of Base Metal Sulphide Minerals. Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration 38, 713720 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s42461-020-00365-9

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