Froth Flotation (Sulphide & Oxide)

Froth Flotation (Sulphide & Oxide)

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Copper/Zinc flotation - highly activated zinc minerals (4 replies and 3 comments)

P
Pavaldiv
6 months ago
Pavaldiv 6 months ago

Hi, 

I'm doing lab flotation testwork on a sulphide ore containing copper and zinc. The grade of the material is 5.7%Cu and 4.8%Zn, the main minerals in the ore are chalcopyrite, sphalerite and mamartite. It doesn't appear to be presence of oxidized copper mineral species.

I tried to do a sequential flotation depressing the Zn with different reagent suites (NaCN, Na2SO3, ZnSO4) but I haven't seen any progress yet, it appears the Zn minerals are highly activated. 

The dosages in different test I made were the following

NaCN 0.3kg/ton ZnSO4 0.6kg/ton pH=8-9

NaCN 0.3kg/ton ZnSO4 1kg/ton pH=8-9

NaCN 0.6kg/ton ZnSO4 1kg/ton pH=8-9

ZnSO4 0.6kg/ton Na2SO3 1.2kg/ton pH=8-9

ZnSO4 0.8kg/ton Na2SO3 1.7kg/ton pH=8-9

Can someone give some recommendation or insight about options to process this type of ore?

Thanks in advance for your replies, 

Paulo 

David
6 months ago
David 6 months ago
1 like by Pavaldiv

I am familiar with https://www.911metallurgist.com/blog/sequential-cu-pb-zn-flotation

No cyanide.

Anyone else can help?

P
Pavaldiv
6 months ago

Thanks for your reply David.

The reagent referred in the article MBS is metabisulfite, right?

David
6 months ago
David 6 months ago
1 like by Pavaldiv
J
Jorge
6 months ago
Jorge 6 months ago
2 likes by Pavaldiv and David

Your comments don't mention the effect of particle size on zinc displacement. It is important to determine the particle size that reduces partially the zinc activation and the copper recovery is acceptable. 

Other important information can be obtained from a mineralogical study, basically, the optimum liberation between chalcopyrite and zinc sulphides. The presence of locked particles should be studied to evalute the effect of particle size on the copper recovery and zinc displacement.

You performed five flotation tests. What is the zinc displacement? Did you perform kinetics tests to evaluate the optimum copper rougher flotation time? It is important to konw if the zinc activation is high in the first seconds or in the last minutes. 

Time of flight secondary mass spectrometry (ToF-SIMS) can provide information on elements reported in the sphalerite surface and chalcopyrite. In this it is possible to detect the possible activator agent. Based on the results, the addition of EDTA should be evaluated to precipitate the activator agent.

Other point to consider is the collector and how to add the collector in the copper rougher tests. for example, if you added PAX during the conditiong stage, and you decided to add more PAX after two or four minutes, you can promote the flotation of zinc sulphides, specially if there are locking particles of chalcopyrite and sphalerite.  

P
Pavaldiv
6 months ago

Hi Jorge, thanks for the reply.

We are going to do mineralogical studies to determine the optimum liberation of both copper and zinc mineral species.

"It is important to determine the particle size that reduces partially the zinc activation and the copper recovery is acceptable."

Considering the statement above, a overgrinding promotes the activation of sphalerite, right?

"You performed five flotation tests. What is the zinc displacement?"

Yes, I had run kinetics test and the zinc displacement is very high even in the first minute of flotation. Flotation rates of zinc are higher than copper.

The collector used is ammonium dithiphosphate at a 90 g/ton dosage added at conditioning stage. What type of collector do you recommend?

Best regards,
Paulo

J
Jorge
6 months ago
Jorge 6 months ago
1 like by Pavaldiv

If the flotation feed size is very fine, the selectivity is more complex. Also, you add the problem of entrainment and more gangue would be reported in the rougher concentrate. If the rougher concentrate has not good quality, the clening circuit would be more complex to operate.

You have a high grade ore, so, try to use a weak collector is not appropriate. The addition of SIPX could be considered. The addition of A3418 alone or combined with SIPX is other alternative.

If the pyrite content is not high, there would be more problems to get selectivity between chalcopyrite and sphalerite. 

You mentioned the presence of marmatite. Usually, marmatite can be determined by mineralogical studies or following a very specific analytical procedure. If there is black marmatite and the fraction of marmatite is hiigher than sphalerite, the zinc concentrate would have a serious problem, the iron content.

It is necessary and important to know the source of zinc activation in the copper rougher flotation circuit, otherwise the laboratory will not use the right methodology to minimize the problem. 

P
Pavaldiv
6 months ago

Thank you very much Jorge,

Once we have the mineralogical studies results (hope this week) we will have a clear understanding of the ore characteristics and choose the right path as you said.

Best regards,
Paulo

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