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Types / Category of Flotation Collector (2 replies)

Bill Fraser
10 months ago
Bill Fraser 10 months ago

Should base metals concentrators use collectors other than xanthates? For example, dithiocarbamates etc? Xanthates have been used for a long time. There are other types of Flotation collectors that can be more selective against pyrite and pyrrhotite. Thus, the question is should concentrators use collectors such as dithiocarbamates etc.

Dizzy Flores
10 months ago
Dizzy Flores 10 months ago

There are many other collectors besides Xanthates as you said Dithiocarbamates (dtc) but the dtc's are much more expensive than Xanthates and the results are not any different to Xanthates. Dtc's have been used as co-collectors here in South Africa and there have been so very good results..Dithiophosphates (dtp) have also been tried but the results are similar but in some applications DTP's are also very good co-collectors. Many other chemicals have been tested but Xanthates are still the best for most sulphide ores. I know of collectors that have specially designed to collect pyrrhotite but it is difficult to get tested by the mines against the xanthate market. Pyrite is most of the time a relatively easy to float but to collect the pyrite from other sulphides can be difficult and is usually depressed and the other minerals collected and then the pyrite. Maybe the solution to the pyrite problem is to float in acid conditions (<pH 4) where xanthates don't work well and there are very good collectors for pyrite in acid conditions. I think that there is great merit in blends of collectors designed for specific ore bodies but here again it is difficult to have tested.

Carmen Ibanz
10 months ago
Carmen Ibanz 10 months ago

The answer depends on costs and performance, since we are in business and not research as such.

There is a role for collectors other than xanthates, since it has been shown that there are different collection sites for different collectors and improved recoveries are possible by using them synergistically.

The non-xanthate collector is employed ahead of the xanthate collector, which is typically added towards the end of the rougher.

This was for chalcopyrite.

By the way, xanthates do work quite well at low pHs - they just don't last very long (~30 minutes is a typical half life).

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