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