Preparing Flotation Reagents

silver flotationThe following flotation reagent mixing system is typical for the flotation reagent mixing systems: A-208, Xanthate and Sodium Silicate.

The reagent mix tanks, for the above mentioned reagents, are located on the basement floor. Feed chutes from the main operating floor carry dry or wet reagents to each mix tank. Either reclaim or fresh water is added to the mix tank with the reagent, the reagent is mixed with an agitator, and then it is pumped up to its respective day tank on the upper operating floor for distribution. Parallel metering pumps regulate the flow of the reagent from the holding tank to the various feed points. One pump is run while one pump is generally held on stand by. An overflow line from the day tank allows flow back into the mixing tank. Pressure gauges are mounted near the bottom of each mixing tank, and have been calibrated to indicate level in the tanks. Pressure gauges have been installed at the transfer pump discharge lines. The holding tanks have level gauge glasses and high level float switches, the latter alarming the mill control panel annunciator. The 110 volt starters for ….Read more

Effect of Collector on Copper Flotation Metallurgy

A pretty clean and relatively easy to treat ore was tested suggesting a collector optimization strategy would probably yield only relatively minor incremental metallurgical improvements. Therefore, collector suite fine-tuning was deemed largely better left for future optimization, possibly when the plant is in operation. In earlier studies Sumitomo had adopted the use of thionocarbamate Cytec 3894, a relatively selective and more expensive nitrogen-based collector, but not particularly strong. This was also was the found to be highly effective when used alone in these studies. Cytec 3894 was compared to a standard xanthate (sodium isopropyl xanthate) and the effect on copper flotation metallurgy. This shows lower mass pulls. The reduced operating cost of the regrind and cleaner circuit would most likely warrant the extra cost of using Cytec 3894.

Effect of Collector on Rougher Flotation Metallurgy Selective flotation of copper using varied collectors.

Cytec 3894 may sometimes be used in actual plant operation in conjunction with a little xanthate because it is not a strong collector. However xanthate tended to raise mass pull rates in this test programme, therefore it was not used in the locked cycle flotation confirmation testing.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

Flotation Collector Dosage – Over/Under Collection of Froth

What happens when there is too much flotation collector, how do you know and how can to estimate? The bubble will react as if there is too little depressant.  Froth bubbles will get smaller and closer together, but the unlike the depressant it won’t cause the mineral to fall off of the bubble due to overloading. Remember there is enough depressant to keep the majority of unwanted mineral from floating, but the extra surface area of the collector allows a better contact between the chalcopyrite and the collector molecule.

micelle formation Over-collected “micelle” formation becomes hydrophilic and stops floating.

Over-collected flotation froth

This will cause the particles with small portions of mineral exposed to be able to be collected.Stage Addition of Flotation Reagents

Add enough collector and you will float the Titanic back to surface.  High dosage of collector can undo any careful use of depressant you had used.

The extra surface area also means a better contact being made between the collector and the air. This makes a more stable surface. But because the majority ….Read more

Flotation Collector Manufacturers

There are several Flotation Collector Manufacturers, but may half-a-dozen really good ones.  What makes a quality may Flotation Collector supplier is the dependability and consistency of the product.  Yes price matters but trusting what you buy it worth a few pennies extra.Flotation Collector Manufacturer

Now would you select as a Flotation Collector Manufacturer depends on what you need.  If you need a ‘designer collector’ or a boiler plate generic Xanthate with often dictate where you go.  Do you need an oxide collector or a sulphide collector, as well as your geographic location also affects your choice.

Flotation Collector ManufacturersHere is a list of those I can think of now.  If you are looking for dependable manufacturer and better pricing for a generic flotation collector, let me know.

  • Univar
  • Cytec
  • Quadra
  • SNF Flomin
  • Flottec
  • Orica
  • Clariant
  • Oxflo

These names are the general go-to manufacturers and suppliers of flotation collectors and many other chemicals/reagents used in the flotation industry.


Flotation Collectors

Simply said; a Flotation Collectors is a chemical used to make the surface of minerals, which is metallic, hydrophobic or in layman’s term ‘afraid of water’ or ‘water hating’ as others like to say.

This chemical used will behaved, in a way, as a wax would when you applied it to your car.  After wax (or hydrophobic agent) is adhered to the surface, that surface with see water pearl-away.

What Flotation Collectors do The Car’s metal surface is hydrophobic and afraid of water.

Another example of a home-made collector or hydrophobic agent is Naphthalene, the chemical reagent used to make Mothballs.  It is very much ‘afraid of water.

Anyway, a similar phenomenon happens to minerals when a flotation collector is applied to them.  These flotation collectors are naturally attracted to metallic surfaces making them wanting to get away or get out of water.  The most common group of flotation collectors are known as Xanthates.

They are attracted to the mineral and to the air of the bubble, attaching themselves to both.

The difference in the collectors are primarily in selectivity based on their strength.

Based on their chemical compositions and affinities, some flotation collectors will tend to be ….Read more

Lead Depression in Bulk Cu/Pb Flotation Concentrate (Reverse)

A series of tests were completed with bulk copper and lead flotation with the depression of lead and flotation of copper. This alternative utilized
MBS as the primary depressant in both the bulk and reverse circuits.

The challenge of this scheme is that the lead concentrate will be the tailings of the reverse circuit and will likely always be of poor quality. It
would require very clean bulk concentrates, with very little pyrite or sphalerite.

The lead concentrate was indeed very poor quality. The concentrate grade ranged from 7.5 to 21.6 percent lead at very low lead recovery from the feed. The concentrate was heavily contaminated with copper, zinc and sulphur (pyrite).

The copper metallurgical performance was better, on average, 81 percent of the copper in the feed was recovered in the concentrate grading 28
percent copper. However, the concentrate contained nearly 11 percent lead with lead recoveries to the copper concentrate of about 52 percent.

The limited testing indicated that this reagent scheme was less effective in the reverse than the cyanide scheme. If the ratio of lead to copper is
expected to increase in future ores, this scheme might be more effective.

Lead Depression in Bulk Cu-Pb Flotation Concentrate Reverse

Types of Anionic Collectors of Sulphides

Collectors for sulphide minerals : Anionic collectors are most commonly used for sulphide minerals. By reference to the table (below) it will be note that they are all structurally similar, each having a single sulphur atom double bonded to either a carbon or phrosphorus atom, hence all of the sulphide minerals can be floated with varying success by any of the sulfydric collectors.


Anionic collectors consist of two types according to the structure of the polar group: sulfhydryl type and oxyhydryl type. The term sulfhydryl refers to the SH group present in undissociated form of the collector. The term thiol refers to carbon bonded to the SH. that is, C-SH or R-SH. Both sulfhydryl and thiol (thio) are used to describe this class of collectors. They are widely used in the flotation of sulfide minerals (Avotins et al., 1994). The other anionic type of collectors is oxyhydryl (referring to the OH group), and they arc mainly used in non-sullldc flotation. Compared to the sulfhydryl collectors. the hydrocarbon chain is usually longer. Typically supplied as salts of Na or K. these cations play no role in the action of these anionic collectors.

Collectors Strength – Xanthate Family – Recovery Power

A little about collector strength and Xanthates: Some call it selectivity, I call it “how much do you put on”.  Even the most selective collector can be rendered un-selective it you add enough.

In reverse order of strength (strongest to weakest):

  1. PAX
  2. SIBX
  3. SIPX
  4. SEX
  5. Methyl Xanthate (uncommon)

What is the strongest xanthate Collector strength chart

More about the collecting power of xanthate and the Effect of pH on Pulp Potential and Sulphide Mineral Flotation at or

The decision about which xanthate to use is typically based on dosage and cost.  We tend to observed similar metallurgical performance using any of the xanthates, you just need a lower dosage as you go up in strength.  What will change performance is switching the family of reagent.  i.e. dithiophosphinates (3418A) or carbimates (5100) etc.  These are more selective collectors and will exhibit different performance regardless of dosage in our experience.



Most zinc circuits use SIPX.  In the lab, we need the weaker xanthate as PAX is too strong and the dosages have to be so low that we have trouble accurately adding it.

There may be some minor differences ….Read more

Compare Hydroxamate AM2 Rinkalore CTC3 Oxide Collectors

In this series of tests aimed  to Compare Hydroxamate Collectors namely: AM2 Rinkalore and CTC3 we now conclude.  All data indicate the CTC3 is a more selective reagent.  In all tests, metallurgy was improved.  Nowhere were the results produced by CTC3 inferior to AM2.

Although AM2’s Lab Recoveries can look “attractive”, the AM2 reagent shows problematic to nearly insurmountable practical issues for the excessively large (50%) mass pull/recovery required for it to meet Cu recoveries close to CTC3.  This pull/recovery issues makes a plant trial of AM2 a much too risky venture that cannot be supported by an experienced plant/operations metallurgist.

If tests with recoveries obtained be %mass pull/recovery greater than say 15-20% are rejected, the CTC3 selectivity and technical advantage is further noticeable with some tests showing up to 60% over standard/baseline tests.

One must further study its mineralogy to gain a clear understanding of its metallurgy.  Much can be gained by knowing what mineral species are contained in the various ores/materials.  With that scientific data, implement permanent solutions and finally stabilize and maximize its metallurgical performance.

Some of these mineralogical studies and reports are currently underway using the monthly composites.

For the samples tested CTC3 is clearly the hydroxamate of choice.

Why is ….Read more

Oxide Flotation Collector | Collector for Copper Oxide Ore

In this flotation tests and evaluation for the best collector for copper oxide “ore” 911Metallurgy continues with material that’s 60% Oxide copper.

Sample C: 1.7% Copper about 60% Oxide Cu 

Rougher Tests:

Oxide Flotation

Both reagents appear to behave similarly as the “blue dots” are seemingly a continuation of the trend started by “red dots”. Oxflo and Axis show that the more %Mass you recover, the more the %Cu Recovery in increased.

Gold Silver Oxide Flotation

Oxflo shows better Gold selectivity obtaining %Au Recoveries in the 20% at around 12% Mass while Axis needs 25% to 50% Mass to obtain around 15% Au Recovery.

The Oxflo and Axis collectors appear to have a similar selectivity towards Silver.

Axis obtained the best Ag Recoveries at around 30%.  This good oxide flotation recovery was however associated with a large %Mass pull of 25% to 50%  Oxflo was able to obtain almost 20% Ag Recovery at below 15% Mass.

Cu Oxide Flotation

Both reagents appear to on the same Grade/Recovery curve. “Blue dots” are seemingly a continuation of the trend started by “red dots”.

….Read more

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