Froth Flotation (Sulphide & Oxide)

Froth Flotation (Sulphide & Oxide)2017-04-04T06:57:31-04:00
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Are Oxide Ores Generally Amenable to Flotation Process (2 replies and 1 comment)

3 years ago
spaceexplorer 3 years ago

Are Oxide Ores Generally Amenable to Flotation Process?

Hello All.

How amenable are oxide ores to flotation process?

We are considering developing an oxide ore deposit with average grade content of 2.4 gpt and 650 gpt (Au/Ag) respectively.

Recent GRG Testing of the ore samples at the Met-Solve Laboratories in Canada yielded maximum 24% and 36% (Au/Ag) recoverability, by gravity concentration – which is not economically viable.

Heap leaching cyanidation – the process in which we are experienced and would’ve preferred – is out of the question, due to the proximity of the ore deposit to a local dam, and the inherent environmental risk factor. Therefore, our options are just about limited to the flotation process.

As such, could anyone kindly:

1) Enlighten us as to the general amenability of oxide ores to the flotation process?

2) Suggest good reference source(s) from which a practical knowledge of the flotation process can be acquired.

Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.


3 years ago
mc36155 3 years ago


The only real way to tell if your particular ore is going to be amenable to the flotation route will be laboratory testing.

Do you have any mineralogy on your deposit this would help

Generally speaking however, you will likely need to use a sulphidizing reagent such as NaSH or Na2S and some copper sulphate with a long chain xanthate which should assist the flotation of oxidised gold carrier minerals.

Free gold should be readily floatable using a xanthate unless the surfaces of the gold are tarnished. There are ways of dealing with this. You should try to use soda ash for pH modification as lime can depress free gold and if there are clays present it will not help with the rheology.

Let me know if you need more help.

3 years ago

I agree with the comments other than to say that oxide flotation is not difficult but I am not sure this has much to do with whether you can float oxides or not. The steps that you need to take are actually quite clear. Use mineralogy to find out the gold deportment and the gold associations. If the gold is free, float it with lots of PAX. Don't be afraid to try up to 500 grams per ton to find out how it floats. If it is associated with specific oxides, then use an oxhydryl collector like fatty acid or petroleum sulfonate. If it is associated with oxidized sulfides, then the comments below apply. If it is associated with silicates, then an amine float may work. the most critical is the deportment study to find out what is is that you are trying to do in the first place. Once you have this deportment, then we can help further.

3 years ago
David 3 years ago

Hi spaceexplorer,

The "How amenable are oxide ores to flotation process?" is very generic. The true question is How are, certain minerals, in oxidized materials, amenable to flotation process?

You won't know until you test. If gravity recovers gold/silver, take that and continue with flotation. I have had good results with 'Oxflo' as an oxide collector (contact ). In your case, it would depend whether there are and oxidised sulphides associated with your gold, to float. Look at as an example of my Oxflo experience.

Otherwise, yes, gold often floats with massive xanthate addition.

Your results will depend on mineralogy, liberation, deportment. Test to know.

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