Reagent Testing – Result Analysis by Statistics

In the operation of today’s large scale ore-processing mills, it is extremely important to have some way of making an objective evaluation of the performance of the available flotation reagents. While Reagent Testing the use of Statistics is necessary for Result Analysis.  Attempts to do this may often result in inconclusive findings since the magnitude of the difference in the mill results for any two reagents is apt to be quite small compared to the variability introduced by the process and the analytical procedures used to measure them. In cases where two reagents give vastly different mill results, evaluation becomes a simple matter and as such deserves no further attention here. A question of primary concern, however, is how a mill can go about evaluating the performance of two reagents which may, for example, give a difference of only 0.0017, copper in the tailings or of 0.2% in copper recovery. The casual observer may feel that such small differences may be of little importance, but in a mill whose daily tonnage is between 30 and 40 thousand, these differences could mean a substantial savings.

Any comparison which is made regarding the metallurgical performance of two reagents will be made on

Control of Flotation Recovery using Regression Analysis

The concentrator of Bonneville Ltd. at Wendover, Utah, processes a feed obtained by solar evaporation of a brine containing sodium and potassium chlorides with minor amounts of impurities. Salable potassium chloride concentrate is produced from this feed in two steps: flotation with amine reagents to concentrate the potassium chloride, and washing of the concentrate with fresh water to reach final grade. In the flotation step emphasis is placed on recovery, whereas the washing step has as its objective the production of salable grade (in excess of 60 percent K2O equivalent), with recovery being important but secondary.

If the process is arbitrarily divided into flotation and washing functions, there are a number of variables involved. Among those for flotation are:


while washing includes:


The over-all objective of this study was to utilize statistical techniques to achieve better understanding and control of the flotation operations. Only flotation recovery was considered. A separate study is being made on washing.

The data used in this study are from 276 consecutive shifts. The data were recorded once per shift and are assumed to be accurate; that is, no allowance for assay or other

Flotation Study of Zinc Sulfide by Infrared Spectrophotometry

It is generally accepted that the collector, potassium ethyl xanthate, will not float sphalerite. However, Gaudin showed that sphalerite readily floats if activated with certain metal cations before exposure to xanthate. Ralston and Hunter found that copper sulfate, is the best activator for sphalerite.

In recent years flotation reaction products formed on mineral surfaces have been analyzed by infrared techniques. Peck used the potassium bromide pellet technique to study oleic acid and sodium oleate adsorption on fluorite, barite, and calcite. Poling and Leja used the differential reflectance technique for studying the adsorption of xanthate on nickel surfaces. The Bureau of Mines used the internal reflection technique in conjunction with solvent extraction procedures to study the reaction of aqueous potassium ethyl xanthate on galena surfaces. In the internal reflection technique described by Harrick, a sample that selectively absorbs infrared radiation, when placed in contact with a reflecting prism, will produce an absorption spectrum that is characteristic of the material.

The objective of the research described in this paper was to determine the relationship between values of the pH of the collector solution and the amounts of the reaction products, cuprous ethyl xanthate and ethyl dixanthogen, adsorbed on sphalerite surfaces.

Experimental Materials and

Quartz-Calcite-Hematite System Flotation

The present investigation set out to study the individual flotation behavior of leached quartz, unleached hematite, and unleached calcite with anionic and cationic collectors. The flotation response of mixtures of the minerals taken two at a time was then determined, and finally the experiments were repeated for mixtures of all three. Obviously there exists in nature no other quartz-calcite-hematite mixture like it so that, even if the authors could explain the behavior of their artificial system, it would be of little avail. The investigation did, however, produce some interesting and controversial results.

Materials and Experimental Procedure

Quartz, from the Hardin Mine, Dixon, New Mexico, was leached in concentrated HCl for 48 hours and then washed thoroughly with distilled water. Oolitic hematite, from Clinton, New York, containing Al, Mn, Mg, and Ca as its chief contaminants, and calcite, from Magdalena, New Mexico, containing Al, Fe, Mn, and Mg as prime impurities, were used without leaching.

All minerals were wet ground in a pebble mill and screened to give a minus 65, plus 150 mesh fraction for flotation tests and a minus 150 mesh fraction for electrokinetic studies. After drying at room temperature, magnetic material was removed and samples were stored dry in

A Correlation Between Surface Phenomena and Flotation in Silicates

Experimental studies on the flotation of silicate minerals go back at least thirty or forty years (Bull, 1929; Bull, Ellefson, and Tylor, 1934; Fuerstenau, 1962; and Gaudin, Glover, Hansen, and Orr, 1928). These investigations for the most part have been empirical and have failed to give detailed information on the nature of the silicate-solution interface. Also, very little has been reported about the sorptive properties of silicate minerals in the presence of various collector systems.

Deju and Bhappu have made a theoretical and experimental study of the sorptive properties of representative silicate minerals in an aqueous solution.

The present study extends the previous work to include the surface phenomena occurring in a silicate-sulfonate system and in a silicate-amine system. Efforts were made to correlate the surface sorption in the presence of a sulfonate or an amine to the surface sorption in the presence of only deionized water. The term sorption rather than adsorption is used because both ion exchange and physical adsorption play important roles in the surface phenomena occurring in solid-liquid systems.

Experiments were also conducted varying the collector concentration to examine its effect both on the total surface sorption and the rate of sorption. These experimental results are compared to a

Depressants and Flocculants in Iron Ore Beneficiation – Starches and Starch Derivatives

This article discusses the effect of physical and chemical modifications of starches on the anionic and cationic flotation of silica from oxidized iron ores and magnetite-taconite concentrates, and the results of the interaction of starch, pH, and calcium ions on the flocculation, clarification, and filtration of iron ore slimes and magnetite- taconite tailings. Starches, particularly when anionically modified, were found to be effective depressants in anionic silica flotation. British gums and dextrins were beneficial for oxidized iron ores, but none of the starches or starch derivatives appeared to have any effect on magnetite-taconite concentrates.

Anionic Silica Flotation

In the soap flotation of activated silica from iron ores a critical amount of starch addition exists beyond which flotation performance stabilizes. This critical amount of starch is dependent on the degree of grind and hence on the amount of slimes contained in the ore. With an ore sample essentially minus 325 mesh and containing approximately 50 to 55 percent iron, the critical amount of starch is about 4 lb per ton. This starch requirement contributes to a large portion of the total reagent cost, and it becomes of great interest to decrease this amount either through physical or chemical modification of the

How does Cyanide Depress Pyrite – Mechanisms

Oxidation potentials have been measured in the presence of various concentrations of cyanide, ferrocyanide, and ferricyanide and ethyl xanthate at various values of pH and related to flotation response. Eh-pH diagrams are constructed and show that the formation of surface ferric ferrocyanide is probably responsible for depression when cyanide is added.

Experimental Materials and Techniques

Pure potassium ethyl xanthate was used as collector, and reagent grade potassium cyanide, potassium ferrocyanide, potassium ferricyanide were used as depressants. Reagent grade HCl and KOH were added for pH adjustment. Conductivity water, made by passing distilled water through an ion exchange column, was used in all of the experimental work.

Two pure samples of pyrite were used in the investigation. Sample preparation for flotation involved dry-grinding with a mortar and pestle and sizing the product to 100 x 200 mesh. Prior to flotation, a 0.75-gram sample of the mineral was added to a solution containing a known amount of depressant at the desired pH value, and the system was conditioned for four minutes. Following this, a known amount of collector was added and the system was conditioned for another four minutes. The pH was measured, termed flotation pH; the pulp was transferred to a Hallimond

The Effect of Sodium Silicate in Nonmetallic Flotation Systems

The zero-points-of-charge of apatite, calcite, and fluorite are pH 6.4, 10.8, and 10.0, respectively. Scheelite is negatively charged above at least pH 3. Flotation responses of these minerals in the presence of potassium oleate and sodium silicate are presented and compared with electrokinetic data. Colloidal silica appears to be the species principally responsible for calcite depression, while silicate anion is the species responsible for fluorite depression. Additions as high as 1 x 10-³ mole/liter silicate have no effect on the flotation responses of apatite and scheelite.

Selective flotation of nonmetallic minerals is difficult to achieve with fatty acids or soaps by themselves. As a result, specific reagents are added to aid these separations, and one of the reagents commonly employed for this purpose is sodium silicate. Flotation separations of various calcium-bearing minerals such as fluorite from calcite and scheelite from calcite and apatite almost always involve the use of sodium silicate, for example.

Pure samples of apatite (Durango), calcite (Icelandspar), fluorite, and scheelite were used in this investigation. Pure potassium oleate was used as collector, while reagent-grade HCl and KOH were employed for pH adjustment.

The first series of experiments involved flotation of scheelite in the absence and presence of sodium silicate. Flotation

Flotation Cell Hydrodynamics

A fully-instrumented driving mechanism has been constructed to study the power, aerating and solid suspension characteristics of several laboratory flotation machines.

Machines operating over normal flotation speed ranges give constant power numbers in liquid systems indicating that they operate under fully baffled turbulent flow conditions. Owing to lack of geometrical scaling, power numbers for different sizes of cells of the same make are different. Even larger differences occur between cells of different manufactures. For a given impeller, varying the tank size did not significantly affect the power consumption. Tank geometry and baffling has a slight effect on power consumption with shrouded impellers.

Apparatus and Experimental Details

The driving mechanism was equipped with adapters for interchanging impellers and shroudings and several tank designs and sizes were available so that this unit could be converted from a simple agitator to any kind of laboratory flotation machine (Table 1). A strain gauge torque measuring device and a phototachometer were built into the driving mechanism, and speed variation was obtained by means of a DC motor with a rectifier and voltage regulator. These experimental facilities represented a considerable improvement over previous work in which power and speed were measured by means of a watt meter

Kyanite Flotation

The ores used in the investigation were obtained from the Aluminum Silicates, Inc., Washington, Ga., and the Commercialores, Inc., Clover, S. C.

The sample from Georgia contained kyanite and quartz with clay pyrophyllite, limonite, pyrite, and rutile. Petrographic examination showed that the kyanite was essentially; liberated between -35 and 48 mesh. In the screen sizes between 48 and 100 mesh a few of the, kyanite grains had small attachments of quartz.

The mineral constituents of the sample from South Carolina were kyanite, quartz, mica, clay, pyrite, limonite, and rutile. The kyanite was essentially liberated at 65 mesh. In the screen sizes between 65 and 200 mesh, a few of the kyanite grains had small attachments of quartz.

Petrographic analyses of the two samples are, given in table 1.

flotation petrographic analysis

Experimental Results

Laboratory Batch Tests

Preliminary batch flotation tests were made of the two ores to determine the optimum conditions for separating the kyanite from the gangue minerals. The use of varying quantities and types of collectors and depressants, conditioning at different time and pulp solids, and varying the pH of the pulp were investigated. Results of preliminary tests led to adoption of

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