Froth Flotation (Sulphide & Oxide)

Froth Flotation (Sulphide & Oxide)2017-04-04T06:57:31-04:00
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Froth height based flotation banks strategy (3 replies and 2 comments)

2 years ago
Pabloski 2 years ago

Hi people!

I need some advise, or comments, on flotation processes strategies based on froth height control.

If there is any process around that uses this type of control, or any paper topic related would be very much aprecciated.

Thanks before hand!

2 years ago
Robert 2 years ago

Have you looked at literature on control of froth pull using froth velocity or other measurements?

Examples would be,

Supomo et al., PT Freeport Indonesia's mass-pull control strategy for rougher flotation, Mineral Eng, 21, 2008, 808-816.

PT Freeport Indonesia (PTFI) uses an adapted machine vision based control system in the rougher flotation circuit. PTFI uses VisioFroth, a machine vision system developed by Metso Minerals. Cameras in individual rougher cells measure froth velocity to determine the mass-pull; based on the measured velocity, process controls then adjust froth depth to achieve the required velocity and mass pull. The emphasis of the work currently reported is the development of an optimal mass-pull profile in the rougher bank, which can lead to maximizing recovery. On/off testing conducted post-installation of the system demonstrated a 1.0% incremental recovery benefit in the rougher circuit. Implementation of novel control logic around the cameras has led to additional 2.4% increase in rougher recovery. This paper also discusses some practical issues associated with the current mass-pull control logic, in particular froth removal at the end of the rougher bank.


Maldonado, et al., An overview of optimizing strategies for flotation banks, Minerals, 2012, 258-271.

A flotation bank is a serial arrangement of cells. How to optimally operate a bank remains a challenge. This article reviews three reported strategies: air profiling,  mass-pull (froth velocity) profiling and Peak Air Recovery (PAR) profiling. These are all ways of manipulating the recovery profile down a bank, which may be the property being exploited. Mathematical analysis has shown that a flat cell-by-cell recovery profile maximizes the separation of two floatable minerals for a given target bank recovery when the relative floatability is constant down the bank. Available bank survey data are analyzed with respect to recovery profiling. Possible variations on recovery profile to minimize entrainment are discussed.


Muller et al., A holistic approach to flotation mass pull and grade control,  

Anglo Platinum’s flotation circuit control solution includes a layered approach that involves base-layer, fuzzy logic rule-based and model predictive control that enables a robust approach to optimization.  This paper reviews Anglo Platinum’s approach to the flotation mass pull and grade control problem and describes the benefits that have been derived from a wide range of feed conditions and equipment from four industrial installations.



2 years ago

Thanks Robert for your reply.

The thing is, that I´m looking for a froth height profiling controle system, let me give you an example:

Lets say you have 2 banks of 2 cells each, first bank operates at 50% pulp level, and second bank at 75% pulp level. All of this is to aim for concentrates with different granulometries, let me explain, lets say that 50% pulp level aims for recover finer material and a shallower froth layer (75% pulp level) for a bigger size recovery.

That´s the type of control I´m looking for, but I don´t know if it exist at an industrial level.

But anyways, thanks for your inputs, I will keep in mind the mass pull based type of control.

2 years ago
Robert 2 years ago

The specific control objectives are unclear, making it difficult to answer the question.

Given that automatic control of pulp level is industrially available and has been for some time --  sensor to measure pulp level and feedback control of dart valve positioners, what is the missing concern?

Also, what is the configuration of your circuit?

2 years ago

We have two lines of 2banks of 2 cells each.

What I´m searching about and trying to understand is if in the industry there is any flotation operation that works with different pulp height (or froth depth) profiles, but not for mass pull control, for "granulometry of the floated material" type of control, and why I´m searching that, it is because our current process is unefficient to float particles above #100 (150 microns) and I have my suspicious in the residence time that takes to get to the lip of the cell.. so that is actually what I´m looking for, studies on operations that use a froth height profile aiming at flotation of different particles sizes, and this difference being per cel, or maybe per bank.

I hope its clear enough.

Thanks for your reply!

Peter J
2 years ago
Peter J 2 years ago

150micron is certainly a large size to float.  I suspect you need a stronger frother so that the bubbles don't break and the particle is carried to the overflow lip.  If you are not using "Dowfroth250" I would suggest you try it.  If however you have a thickener and recycle water you may only need small amounts or you may end up with an over-abundent froth problem.

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