A flotation plant is being erected at the Falcon mine, Rhodesia, to treat ore containing gold and copper. With the exception of the Mt. Morgan, the Etheridge, and the Great Fitzroy mines, Queensland, I have not heard of the flotation process being used successfully to treat ore containing an appreciable amount of gold. The Elmore thick oil process was installed at the Lake View Consols gold mine, Kalgoorlie, several years ago, but was not successful, as the ore was not suitable, and unsuccessful experiments were made by Minerals Separation, Ltd., on orefrom the Lancefield mine, Western Australia, which contains mispickel. The Elmore vacuum process was installed at the Cobar gold mines, New South Wales, and at the New Ravens- wood gold mines, Queensland. Both these mines contain copper in the form of sulphide, as well as gold, but the plants only ran a few weeks. I was informed that the plant at the former mine (where the ore contains about $8 gold and 1.5% copper) gave a fair recovery of copper, but left too much gold in the tailing or left enough copper in the tailing to prevent profitable cyanidation of the gold.
To return to the Mt. Morgan mine, the laboratory apparatus had a capacity of one pound of ore at a time, and the results now being obtained in the experimental mill approximate closely those obtained in the laboratory. The object of concentration was, of course, to obtain a concentrate containing as much gold, copper, and iron, and as little silica as possible, commensurate with a good extraction of the gold, because it was found that the less silica the concentrate contained the poorer was the extraction of gold. It costs 13 cents to flux one unit of silica, and it was necessary to steer a middle course. Experiments made with Sonstadt solution on ore from one part of the mine showed that clean quartz (after separation by specific gravity from all mineral) contained not less than $1.50 gold per ton. In practice, of course, it is impossible to float all the mineral and sink all the gangue.
The agitator in the laboratory plant was at first run at 1100 r.p.m., but was afterward reduced to 800. Tests were made with pulps of different proportions, each separate pulp being agitated for the same length of time, that is, 6 minutes, and it was found that there was not much difference, in the extraction of gold and copper, between a pulp containing three parts solution to one of ore, and a pulp containing seven parts solution to one of ore. A pulp of 1 to 1 was too thick and gave poor results. In practice, the thinner the pulp the smaller the capacity of the flotation machine. Tests were also made to ascertain the effect of agitating for different lengths of time. Two tests were made in the laboratory of which I have a note: one for 10 minutes and one for 15 minutes. The ore contained $6.50 gold and 2% copper; 12% of this sample would remain on a 60-mesh screen. The first one gave a concentrate containing $22.70, 9.4% copper, and 18% insoluble, with an extraction of 51% of the gold and 84.5% of copper. The second gave a concentrate containing $20.20 gold, 7.8% copper, and 27% insoluble, with an extraction of 64.5% of gold and 91.8% copper. The gold left in the tailing was probably in the gangue, as the extraction was poorer than usual. As a rule, the longer agitation and separation are continued, the more silicious the concentrate is. In practice, the length of treatment is regulated by the thickness of pulp and the number of boxes in the flotation machine. Tests made to ascertain to what degree fine crushing was necessary showed emphatically that the ore must all pass through a screen of 60 holes to thelinear inch if a good extraction is to be obtained, and that the finer it was crushed, at any rate down to 120-mesh, the better the extraction was. Tests showed that when using eucalyptus oil there was no advantage in using an acid solution, but that, on the other hand, slight acidity did no harm. Much of the copper pyrite in the ore readily floats on water without any previous agitation. On treating ore containing $25 gold direct by agitation and flotation, without amalgamating or concentrating on tables, it was proved that fine free gold can be floated by using eucalyptus oil.
A few years ago some experiments were made by crushing in ball-mills and concentrating on Wilfley tables, but they were not successful. Last year it was decided to make a thorough trial of the Minerals Separation process, and a small testing plant was erected in the laboratory. At the same time a full-sized experimental unit, capable of treating 300 to 400 tons per 24 hours, was erected in one of the abandoned chlorination plants. Both sets of experiments were carried out by the metallurgical staff of the Company. After they were finished, a representative of the Australian branch of Minerals Separation, Ltd., paid a visit to the mine and conducted a few tests, which confirmed the results obtained by the mine staff.
As mentioned in the Companys annual report, these flotation experiments were successful, the extraction being higher and the costs lower than expected. The company is now building the first unit of a plant to treat 1000 tons per 24 hours. The ore will be crushed by rock-breakers, Symons disc crushers, rolls, and tube-mills. It will then be concentrated on Wilfley tables, after which it will go through a second set of tube-mills, thence to the flotation machines. It is presumed that no royalty will be payable on the Wilfley concentrate. This concentrate will either be briquetted or sintered in a Dwight-Lloyd machine, and smelted in blast-furnaces along with the copper ore and ironstone and limestone fluxes. The Company has no reverberating furnaces.
Many oils were tested, and, generally speaking, it was found that only essential oils gave a coherent froth and good extraction, other oils like petroleum, oleic acid, and lubricating oils tending to form granules which sank. The. best results were obtained from eucalyptus, closely followed by Essential C and Pinus lam us vulgaris. Oleic acid, which was used for years at Broken Hill on zinc ore with hot solution, and gave good results when tried on this ore with neutral and acid solutions, gave an enormous froth and floated most of the silica. A mixture containing 95% of eucalyptus and only 5% of oleic acid gave a concentrate containing 47% silica, showing the power of the oleic to float silica. Experiments were afterward made with a mixture of oils, and one combination (known as Mt. Morgan mixture) was found to give a better extraction of both gold and copper than any of the individual oils, and at less expense. When the sample was all crushed to pass 80 mesh, an extraction of 80% of the gold and 90% of the copper could be obtained every time, with a concentrate containing about 25% insoluble, which can be reduced to 10% by re-treatment. Hot solutions and a solution containing 1% of common salt were found to be detrimental to good recoveries.
A test on a sample, crushed to pass a screen of 120 holes per linear inch, containing $37 gold and 4.8% copper, gave a recovery by flotation alone of 90% of the gold and 98.5% of the copper, but left $8 gold in the tailing. The concentrate carried 44% insoluble matter, which could be reduced by re-treatment. A different oil (eucalyptus) would have given a poorer recovery and a cleaner concentrate.
Tests made on ore containing $9 gold, 3.5% copper, and 45% insoluble, showed that after crushing to pass 60 mesh and treating by direct flotation, an extraction of 82% of the gold and 96% ofthe copper could be obtained, with a concentrate containing only 21% insoluble. No doubt with finer crushing even better recoveries would be had. These results leave tables and vanners far behind. It was found decidedly advantageous to re-use the solutions.
A Wilfley table was erected in the mill, some tests made, and the tailing treated by flotation in the laboratory. Sometimes these tailing samples were dried before flotation, and sometimes they were not. It was invariably found that a better extraction was obtained from those which had not been dried, as no matter how carefully the operation was conducted, some of the iron pyrite got sufficiently oxidized to resist flotation, and it carried some of the gold.
In some of the tests the crushed ore was concentrated by panning in the laboratory, and afterward subjected to flotation. In this case the water in the laboratory was used, which did not come from the same source as the water used in the mill. It was noticed that the longer the sample was allowed to remain in the water after panning, the worse the subsequent flotation was. For example, where flotation took place immediately after vanning, the residue assayed $2.60 gold and 0.30% copper, but where tailing from panning was allowed to remain under water for 6 hours before flotation, the residue assayed $3.10 gold and 0.67% copper. An analysis of this water was made, and this incident shows what might happen in a mill where the ore is in contact with bad water for some hours before reaching the flotation machine, such as the time it is going through rolls, Chilean mills, tube-mills, and classifiers, over tables and through thickening devices, and perhaps through secondary tube-mills. The water in question was neutral, both before and after coming in contact with the ore.
Some tests were made both in mill and laboratory in which air was drawn into the agitation boxes through pipes fixed vertically in the corner with the top open to the air and the bottom ending in a bent pipe terminating under the impeller of the agitator. No improvement was, however, noticeable.
Grading tests were conducted on crude ore and flotation products. They showed that as regards crude ore, after crushing either in mill or laboratory, the finest grade of concentrate or ore was the richest and the coarsest grade of tailing was richest, both in gold and copper. The fact that the finest grade of tailing was the poorest shows that this process will float the finest sulphides successfully.
In the experimental mill the ore is crushed in rock-breakers andKrupp dry-crushing ball-mills without drying. This plant was formerly used to crush oxidized ore for chlorination and, being on the spot, it was naturally utilized in preference to buying new machinery. The crushed ore drops into a bin at the bottom of which are two Challenge feeders. These deliver the ore into a launder where it is met by a stream of water which carries it direct to a six-compartment Minerals Separation machine. Each spindle is driven by a half-crossed belt, thus eliminating the noise and grease incidental to the old Broken Hill method of gearing. The machine is of the Hoover single-level type, by which one man can attend to all the flotation boxes. The concentrate was collected at first in circular wooden vats with filter-bottoms of cocoa matting, and later in shallow rectangular concrete tanks which formed part of the old chlorination works. The whole plant is extremely simple and requires very few men to run it. It has not been found practicable to use a screen finer than 35 mesh on the ball-mills. It is found that the gold, copper, and iron contents are greater in the concentrate overflowing from No. 1 box and that they gradually decrease until No. 6 is reached, while the silica content increases from 10% in the concentrate from No. 1 box to about 50% in that from No. 6. About 56 hp. is required to drive the agitators at 350 revolutions per minute.
As it is intended to use Wilfley tables in the new mill to assist in recovering the iron pyrite in the ore for fluxing and other purposes, two of these machines were placed in the experimental mill and some tests made to find out what results may be expected of them. Taking an average of several tests on ore from different parts of the mine, the grading of the table feed was as follows: 10% remained on 60 mesh, and 19% passed through 60 but remained on 120 mesh. It contained $4.50 gold, 1.8% copper, 9% iron, and 76% insoluble. The concentrate assayed $17 gold, 2.9% copper, 34% iron, and 18% insoluble; the recoveries were 33% of the gold, 13% of the copper, and 38% of the iron. No doubt, had the pulp been classified and the fine material passed over slime tables or vanners, better results would have been obtained, but the Company does not intend to use mechanical concentrators for the slime, preferring to rely on the flotation process, so it was not worth while experimenting with them.
During the flotation experiments with eucalyptus oils some tailing was produced which contained a fair amount of gold, and attempts were made to recover some of this by amalgamating and cyaniding.It was found that no extraction by amalgamation was possible, nor was any extraction by cyaniding possible without either roasting or finer grinding. On unroasted tailing assaying $3 gold and 0.44% copper, after crushing to pass 120 mesh, separating the slime, and leaching the sand for 9 days, an extraction of only 60c. per ton was obtained with aconsumption of 3.6 lb. of cyanide per ton. On a different tailing crushed to pass 80 mesh, which after slime was separated assayed $2.90 gold and 0.30% copper, an extraction of $1 was obtained in 5 days with a consumption of 2 lb. of cyanide.
Samples of slime were treated by agitation and washed by decantation, and gave slightly better extractions, but the consumption of cyanide went up to 6 or 7 lb. The strength of solution used in these tests was 0.10% KCN. It should perhaps be noted that all samples of flotation tailing had been dried before being tested by cyanidation.
Two samples of sand from tailing were roasted and treated by percolation. The value was $3. The roasting reduced the sulphur to 0.5%. Although the copper and iron were oxidized by roasting, the consumption of KCN was less than in treating the unroasted tailing, which was contrary to expectation. With three days treatment, the residue was reduced to $1 per ton, and about one-third pound of copper was dissolved from each ton of tailing by the cyanide. The consumption of cyanide was 1.4 lb. per ton, so that the extraction was higher and the loss of cyanide less than in treating unroasted tailing. Speaking from memory, I think that attempts to regenerate the cyanide in solution by means of sulphuric acid and lime were not very successful. The solution contained 0.05 gram copper per litre.
These cyaniding tests were merely done for information, as it is not expected that the tailing from the new mill will be profitable for cyaniding. The subject of extracting gold from flotation tailing arose a few years ago at the Cobar gold mines, as already mentioned, but in that case the difficulty was overcome by selling the mine, which contained highly silicious ore, to a company which owned a smelter, and had, or thought it had, plenty of basic ore for flux. Unfortunately, the amount had been overestimated and the problem is still unsolvedbut that is another story.
Eriez Flotation is the world leader in column flotation technology with over 900 installations. Columns are used for floating well-liberated ores. Typically they produce higher grade and have lower power costs than conventional cells. Applications include Roughers Scavengers Cleaners
Eriez Flotation is the world leader in column flotation technology with over 900 installations. Columns are used for floating well-liberated ores. Typically they produce higher grade and have lower power costs than conventional cells. Applications include
The HydroFloat fluidized bed flotation cell radically increases flotation recoveries of coarse and semi-liberated ores. Applications include: Split-feed flow-sheets Flash flotation Coarse particle recovery
The StackCell uses a 2-stage system for particle collection and froth recovery. Collection is optimized in a high shear single-pass mixing canister and froth recovery is optimized in a quiescent flotation chamber. Wash water can be used.
The StackCell uses a 2-stage system for particle collection and froth recovery. Collection is optimized in a high shear single-pass mixing canister and froth recovery is optimized in a quiescent flotation chamber. Wash water can be used.
The CrossFlow is a high capacity teeter-bed separator, separating slurry streams based on particle size, shape and density. Applications include: Split-feed flow-sheets with the HydroFloat Density separation Size separation
The rotary slurry-powered distributor (RSP) is used to accurately and evenly split a slurry stream into two or more parts, without creating differences based on flow, percent solids, particle size or density. Applications include Splitting streams for feeding parallel lines for any mineral processing application
The rotary slurry-powered distributor (RSP) is used to accurately and evenly split a slurry stream into two or more parts, without creating differences based on flow, percent solids, particle size or density. Applications include
Eriez Flotation provides advanced engineering, metallurgical testing and innovative flotation technology for the mining and minerals processing industries. Strengths in process engineering, equipment design and fabrication positionEriez Flotation as a leader in minerals flotation systems around the world.
Applications forEriez Flotation equipment and systems include metallic and non-metallic minerals, bitumen recovery, fine coal recovery, organic recovery (solvent extraction and electrowinning) and gold/silver cyanidation. The company's product line encompasses flotation cells, gas spargers, slurry distributors and flotation test equipment.Eriez Flotation has designed, supplied and commissioned more than 1,000 flotation systems worldwide for cleaning, roughing and scavenging applications in metallic and non-metallic processing operations. And it is a leading producer of modular column flotation systems for recovering bitumen from oil sands.
Eriez Flotation has also made significant advances in fine coal recovery with flotation systems to recover classified and unclassified coal fines. The group's flotation columns are used extensively in many major coal preparation plants in North America and internationally.
Eriez Flotation provides advanced engineering, metallurgical testing and innovative flotation technology for the mining and minerals processing industries. Strengths in process engineering, equipment design and fabrication positionEriez Flotation as a leader in minerals flotation systems around the world. Read More
Mining Equipment Manufacturers, Our Main Products: Gold Trommel, Gold Wash Plant, Dense Media Separation System, CIP, CIL, Ball Mill, Trommel Scrubber, Shaker Table, Jig Concentrator, Spiral Separator, Slurry Pump, Trommel Screen.
Though the gold recovery methods previously discussed usually catch the coarser particles of sulphides in the ore and thus indirectly recover some of the gold associated with these and other heavy minerals, they are not primarily designed for sulphide recovery. Where a high sulphide recovery is demanded, flotation methods are now in general use, but in the days before flotation was known, a large part of the worlds gold was recovered by concentrating the gold-bearing sulphides on tables and smelting or regrinding and amalgamating the product.Though the modern trend is away from the use of tables, because flotation is so much more efficient.
The flotation process, which is today so extensively used for the concentration of base-metal sulphide ores and is finding increased use in many other fields. In1932flotation plants began to be installed for the treatment of gold and silver ores as a substitute for or in conjunction with cyanidation.
The principles involved and the rather elaborate physicochemical theories advanced to account for the selective separations obtained are beyond the scope of this book. Suffice it to say that in general the sulphides are air-filmed and ufloated to be removed as a froth from the surface of the pulp while the nonsulphide gangue remains in suspension, or sinks, as the expression is, for discharge from the side or end of the machine.
For more complete information reference is made to Taggarts Hand book of Mineral Dressing, 1945; Gaudins Flotation and Principles of Mineral Dressing; I. W. Warks Principles of Flotation; and the numerous papers on the subject published by the A.I.M.E. and U.S. Bureau of Mines.
Flotation machines can be classed roughly into mechanical and pneumatic types. The first employ mechanically operated impellers or rotorsfor agitating and aerating the pulps, with or without a supplementary compressed-air supply. Best known of these are the Mineral Separation, the Fagergren, the Agitair, and the Massco-Fahrenwald.
Pneumatic cells use no mechanical agitation (except the Macintosh, now obsolete) and depend on compressed air to supply the bubble structure and tohold the pulp in suspension. Well-known makes include theCallow and MacIntosh (no longer manufactured) the Southwestern, and the Steffensen, the last, as shown in the cross-sectional view in Fig. 47, utilizing the air-lift principle, with the shearing of large bubbles as the air is forced from a central perforated bell through a series of diffuser plates.
The number and size of flotation cells required for any given installation are readily determinedif the problem is looked upon as a matter of retention time for a certain total volume of pulp. The pulp flow in cubic feet per minute is determined from the formula
For ordinary ratios of concentration the effect on cell capacity of concentrate (or froth) removal can be neglected, but where a high proportion of the feed is taken off as concentrates, or where middlings are removed for retreatment in a separate circuit, due allowance should be made for reduced flow and, in consequence, increased detention time toward the tail end of a string of cells. Not less than a series of four cells and preferably six or more cells should be used in any roughing section in order to prevent short-circuiting.
It is not intended here to discuss the subject of flotation reagents in anydetail. The subject is a large one with a comprehensive technical and patent literature. Research leading to the development of new reagents and to our understanding of the mechanism involved has been largely in the hands of academic institutions and the manufacturers of chemical products.
Recent work reported by A. M. Gaudin on the use of Radioactive Tracers in Milling Research described, for instance, the use of a flotation reagents containing radioactive carbon to determine the extent of collector adsorption. The bubble machine devised to measure the angle of contact of air bubbles on collector-treated mineral surfaces has been extensively used for determining the theoretical value of various reagents as flotation collectors, but for the most part the actual reagent combination in use in commercial plants is usually the result of trial-and-error methods.
The following is a brief discussion of the reagents ordinarily used for the flotation of gold and silver ores prepared from notes submitted by S. J. Swainson and N. Hedley of the American Cyanamid Company.
Conditioning agents are commonly used, especially when the ores are partly oxidized. Soda ash is the most widely used regulator of alkalinity. Lime should not be used because it is a depressor of free gold and inhibits pyrite flotation. Sodium sulphide is often helpful in the flotation of partly oxidized sulphides but must be used with caution because of its depressing action on free gold. Copper sulphate is frequently helpful in accelerating the flotation of pyrite and arsenopyrite. In rare instances sulphuric acid may be necessary, but the use of it is limited to ores containing no lime. Ammo-phos, a crude monoammonium phosphate, is sometimes used in the flotation of oxidized gold ores. It has the effect of flocculating iron oxide slime, thus improving the grade of concentrate. Sodium silicate, a dispersing agent, is also useful for overcoming gangue-slime interference.
Promoters or Collectors. The commonly used promoters or collectors are Aerofloat reagents and the xanthates. The most effective promoter of free gold is Aerofloat flotation reagent 208. When auriferous pyrite is present, this reagent and reagent 301 constitute the most effective promoter combination. The latter is a higher xanthate which is a strong and non-selective promoter of all sulphides. Amyl and butyl xanthates are also widely used. Ethyl xanthate is not so commonly used as the higher xanthates for this type of flotation.
The liquid flotation reagents such as Aerofloat 15, 25, and 31 are commonly used in conjunction with the xanthates. These reagents possess both promoter and frother properties. When malachite and azurite are present, reagent 425 is often a useful promoter. This reagent was developed especially for the flotation of oxidized copper ores.
The amount of these promoters varies considerably. If the ore is partly oxidized, it may be necessary to use as much as 0.30 to 0.40 lb. of promoter perton of ore. In the case of clean ores, as little as 0.05 lb. may be enough. The promoter requirement of an average ore will usually approximate 0.20 lb.
The commonly used frothers are steam-distilled pine oil, cresylic acid, and higher alcohols. The third mentioned, known as duPont frothers, have recently come into use. They produce a somewhat more tender and evanescent froth than pine oil or cresylic acid; consequently they have less tendency to float gangue, particularly in circuits alkaline with lime. The duPont frothers are highly active frothing agents; therefore it is rarely necessary to use more than a few hundredths of a pound per ton of ore.
When coarse sulphides and moderately coarse gold (65 mesh) must be floated, froth modifiers such as Barrett Nos. 4 and 634, of hardwood creosote, are usually necessary. The function of these so-called froth modifiers is to give more stable froth having greater carrying power.
The conditioning agents used for silver ores are the same as those for gold ores. Soda ash is a commonly used pH regulator. It aids the flotation of galena and silver sulphides. When the silver and lead minerals are in the oxidized state, sodium sulphide is helpful, but it should not be added until after the sulphide minerals have been floated, because sodium sulphide inhibits flotation of the silver sulphide minerals.
Aerofloat 25 and 31 are effective promoters for silver sulphides, sulphantimonites, and sulpharsenites, as well as for native silver. When galena is present, No. 31 is preferable to No. 25 because it is a more powerful galena promoter. Higher xanthates, such as American Cyanamid reagent 301 and amyl and butyl xanthates, are beneficial when pyrite must be recovered. When the ore contains oxidized lead minerals, such as angle-site and cerussite, sodium sulphide and one of the higher xanthates may be used. In some instances reagent 404 effects high recovery of these minerals without the use of a sulphidizing agent.Silver ores require the same frothers as gold oresviz., pine oil, cresylic acid or duPont frothers.
Aero, Ammo-phos, and Aerofloat are registered trade-marks applied to products manufactured by this company. The Great Western Electro-Chemical Company, California, makes amyl xanthate, butyl xanthate, potassium xanthate, and sodium xanthate. In the United States these reagents are used on the gold ores of California and Colorado and in Canada on the gold ores and sulphides of Ontario and Quebec.
Flotation reagents of the Naval Stores Division of the Hercules Powder Company are as follows: Yarmor F pine oil, a frother for floating simple and complex ores; Risor pine oil, for recovering sulphides by bulk flotation; Tarol a toughener of froth, generally used in small amount with Yarmor F, but with some semioxidized ores where high recovery is essential yet the grade of concentrate not so important, Tarol does good work; Tarol a frother for floating certain oxide minerals, but it can be used in selective flotation of sulphide minerals and in bulk flotation where tough frothis desirable; Solvenol, for the floating of graphite in conjunction with Yarmor F.
The statement has come to the attention of the American Cyanamid Company that organic flotation reagents, such as xanthates, even in the small amounts used in flotation, cause reprecipitation of gold from pregnant cyanide solutions. The ore-dressing laboratory of this company is studying the question, and preliminary results indicate that this statement is unfounded. The addition of xanthate, in the amount usually found in flotation circuits, does not precipitate gold from a pregnant cyanide solution containing the normal amount of cyanide and lime.
Valueless slime, in addition to its detrimental effect in coating gold-bearing sulphide, thereby limiting or preventing its flotation, also becomes mixed with the flotation concentrate and lowers its value. Sometimes the problem in flotation is that, although the gold is floatable, the concentrate product is of too low grade. Talc, slate, clay, oxides of iron, and manganese or carbonaceousmatter in ores early form slime in a mill, without fine crushing. Such primary slime, according to E. S. Leaver and J. A. Woolf of the U.S. Bureau of Mines, interferes with the proper selectivity of the associated minerals and causes slime interference. The tendency of primary slime is to float readily or to remain in suspension and be carried over into the concentrate. Preliminary removal and washing of this primary slime before fine crushing is one method of dealing with it. At the Idaho-Maryland mill, Grass Valley, Calif., starch is regularly used as a depressant during flotation. Flotation tests using starch were made on a quartz ore containing carbonaceous schist from the Argonaut mine, Jackson, Calif.; a talcose ore from the Idaho-Maryland mine mentioned; a talcose-clayey ore from Gold Range, Nev.; a siliceous, iron and manganese oxide ore from the Baboquivari district, Nevada; carbonaceous and aluminous slime from the Mother Lode and some synthetic ores. The conclusions from the foregoing tests were in part as follows:
It acts first on the slime; then, if a sufficient excess of starch is present, it will cause some depression of sulphides and metallic gold, either by wetting out or by producing an extremely brittle froth. Therefore, care must be taken in regulating the amount of starch added to obtain the maximum depression of the slime commensurate with high recovery of the gold. In this, as in all other phases of flotation, each ore presents an individual problem and must be so studied.
It wasdescribe by the use of 600 series of flotation reagents which were developed primarily for the purpose of depressing carbonaceous and siliceous slimes in the flotation of gold ores. Carbonaceous material not only greatly increases the bulk and moisture content of a flotation concentrate, but its presence makes cyanidation of the concentrate difficult or impossible owing to reprecipitation of the gold during treatment.
In the treatment of an auriferous sulphide ore associated with carbonaceous shale from South Africa, up to 77 per cent of the carbon was eliminated by the use of 1 lb. per ton of reagent 637 with a 90.5 per cent gold recovery at 20.4:1 ratio of concentration.
A gold carbonaceous sulphide ore from California carrying free gold yielded a 93 per cent recovery into a concentrate at 14.4:1 to ratio of concentration after conditioning with 0.50 lb. per ton of reagent 645.
In each case the ore was ground to about 70 per cent minus 200 mesh and conditioned at 22 per cent solids with the reagents as indicated. Flotation reagents included reagents 301 and 208 and pine oil. In the second case some soda ash and copper sulphate where also used.
It is obvious that the most suitable treatment for ores carrying gold and silver associated with pyrite and other iron sulphides, arsenopyrite or stibnite, will depend on the type of association. Cyanidation is usually the most suitable process, but it often necessitates grinding ore to a fine size to release the gold and silver. Where it is possible to obtain a good recovery by flotation in a concentrate carrying most of the pyrite or other sulphides, it is often more economical to adopt this method, regrinding only the comparatively small bulk of concentrate prior to the leaching operation.
That the trend over the last 10 years has been in this direction will be noted from the numerous examples of such flow sheets in Canada and Australia (see Chap. XV). A number of plants formerly using all-cyanidation have converted to the combined process.
The suitability of the method involving fine grinding and flotation with treatment of the concentrate and rejection of the remainder should receive careful study in the laboratory and in a pilot plant. Mclntyre-Porcupine ran a 150-ton plant for a year before deciding to build its 2400-ton mill. Comparative figures given by J. J. Denny in E. and M. J., November, 1933, on the results obtained by the all-sliming, C.C.D. process formerly used and the later combination of flotation and concentrate treatment showed a saving of 12.1 cents per ton in treatment cost and a decrease of 15 cents per ton in the residue, a total of 27.1 cents per ton in favor of the new treatment.
Flotation may also prove to be the more economical process for the ore containing such minerals as stibnite, copper-bearing sulphides, tellurides,and others which require roasting before cyanidation, because this reduces the tonnage passing through the furnace.
Even when recovery of gold and silver from such ores by flotation is low, it may be advantageous still to float off the minerals that interfere with cyanidation, roasting, and leaching or possibly to smelt the concentrate for extraction of its precious metals. Cyanidation of the flotation tailing follows, this being simpler and cheaper because of prior removal of the cyanicides.
It is a good practice to recover as much of the gold and silver as possible in the grinding circuit by amalgamation, corduroy strakes, or other gravity means to prevent their accumulation in the classifier; otherwise gold that is too coarse to float may escape from the grinding section into the flotation circuit where it will pass into the tailing and be lost.
To prevent this, several companies including the Mclntyre-Porcupine at Timmins, Ontario, have inserted a combination of flotation cell and hydraulic cone in their tube-mill classifier circuits. At the Mclntyre- Porcupine, according to J. J. Denny in E. and M. J., November, 1933, this cell is a 500 Sub-A type. The total pulp discharged from each tube mill passes through 4-meshscreens which are attached to the end of the mills. The undersize goes to the flotation cell, and the oversize to the classifiers. Tailing from the cell flows to the classifiers, and the flotation concentrate joins the concentrate stream from .the main flotation circuit. The purpose of the hydraulic attachment is to remove gold that is too coarse to float, thus avoiding an accumulation in the tube-mill circuit. The cones have increased recovery from 60 to 75 per cent. Every 24 hr. the tube-mill discharge is diverted to the classifiers. Water is added for 15 min. to separate the gangue in the cells from the high-grade concentrate, after which a product consisting of sulphides and coarse gold is removed through a 4-in. plug valve equipped with a locking device. Each day approximately 400 lb. of material worth $2000 to $3000 is recovered. This is transferred to a tube mill in the cyanide circuit,with no evident increase in the value of the cyanide residue. The object of this arrangement is, of course, primarily to deplete the circulating load of an accumulation of free gold and heavy sulphides.
Flotation is used to recover residual gold-bearing sulphides and tellurides. The Lake Shore mill retreatment plant is an interesting example of this technique. The problem here was, of course, to overcome by chemical treatment the depressing action of the alkaline cyanide circuit on the sulphides. A full discussion of this and of the somewhat controversial subject as to whether flotation should in such an instance be carried out before, or after cyanidation will be found in J. E. Williamsons paper Roasting and Flotation Practice in the Lake Shore Mines Sulphide Treatment Plant elsewhere referred to. Summing up the specific considerations governing the choice oftreatment, the author says:
Incidental matters that influenced the choice of treatment scheme included the realization that preliminary flotation would have involved two separate treatment circuits with additional steps of thickening and filtration following the flotation. Furthermore, in the conditioning method evolved, as much as 60 per cent of the dissolved values in the cyanide tailings were precipitated and recovered.
There are, however, cases where flotation equipment was put in for the purpose of recovering the gold in a concentrate and rejecting the tailing only to find that the tailing was too valuable to waste and had finally to be cyanided before discarding.
It is generally true that cyanidation is capable of producing a tailing of lower gold content than flotation. At a price of $35 per ounce for gold this fact is of much greater importance than when gold was valued at $20.67 per ounce. The possible gold loss in the residue to be discarded will influence the choice of a method of treatment.
Filtration of the insoluble slimes flotation concentrates recovered 87 to 90 percent of the brine. Flotation concentrate filtration rates were 7 times faster than the filtration rates of mechanically deslimed products.
Potash losses in the deslime product and process brine requirements increase as the insol content increases. Therefore, improved methods to remove inso lslimes are needed that will (1) reduce potash losses in the insol slimes product, (2) lower the process brine requirements, and (3) increase subsequent potash recovery after insol slimes removal. In this regard, several insol-slimes-flotation methods have been offered as alternatives to mechanical desliming.
A run-of-mill potash ore sample with a high water-insol content from the Carlsbad, N. Mex.Petrographic and X-ray diffraction analysis of the ore indicated that sylvite (KCl) and halite (NaCl) were the major minerals present. The sylvite contained minor amounts of included hematite, which gave this mineral a distinct red color. Minor amounts of polyhalite (MgSO4K2SO42CaSO42H2O), leonite (MgSO4K2SO44H2O), and kainite (KClMgSO42.75H2O) were also present. The water-insoluble fraction of the ore contained abundant magnesite, chlorite, and illite.
Settling tests were performed in 200-milliliter graduated cylinders on the insol-slimes fraction of each ore. The feed for these settling tests was prepared by diluting the insoluble material with saturated brine to 1.0 percent solids pulp density. The freshly prepared flocculants were mixed with the slurry for 1 minute, and the insoluble slimes were allowed to settle.
Batch insol-slimes flotation tests were conducted in a Fagergren laboratory flotation cell. In each test, 1 kilogram of ore was scrubbed 5 minutes at 27-percent-solids pulp density in a saturated brine at 4.22 meters per second (830 feet per minute) peripheral impeller speed. Concentrated HCl was used for pH adjustment. Flocculant and collector were gently folded into the pulp with a spatula for a conditioning period of 2 minutes.
The deslimed pulp was diluted to 23-percent-solids pulp density in a Fagergren laboratory flotation cell. The pulp was conditioned, for 2 minutes with 150 grams per ton (0.3 pound per ton) of insol slime blinder and for 2 additional minutes with 40 and 115 grams per ton (0.08 and 0.23 pound per ton) of flotation oil and amine chloride, respectively. After conditioning, a drop of frother was added, and a potash flotation rougher concentrate was collected for 2 minutes at a peripheral impeller speed of 4.72 meters per second (930 feet per minute). Potash rougher concentrates from two tests were combined in a 500-gram Denver laboratory flotation cell to provide enough material for a cleaner flotation.
Settling tests were made to select the most effective flocculants for use in flotation testing. Flocculants tested included high-molecular-weight cationic, nonionic, and anionic flocculants, medium-molecular-weight nonionic and anionic flocculants, natural organic flocculants such as starch, quebracho, and guar gum, and polyvalent metal cations. The settling curves for all other reagents tested fell above the curves shown for these two flocculants. The slow settling characteristics were due to the high clay content of the insol slimes fraction of the ore. Based upon the results of these tests, the nonionic polyacrylamide and the cationic acrylamide copolymer were selected as flocculants for subsequent insol slimes flotation studies.
Best results were obtained using emulsions of fatty acids or fuel oil mixed with glycol or polyglycol esters.Cleaner flotation tests were performed on rougher concentrates produced by reagent scheme 2. Results showed that direct cleaner flotation upgraded the rougher concentrate from 54 percent to 59 percent K2O at a reduced recovery of 82 percent. Desliming of the rougher concentrate followed by cleaner flotation upgraded the product to 60 percent K2O. Overall recoveries ranged from 78 to 82 percent.
Insol slimes flotation using a nonionic flocculant-cationic surfactant reagent scheme was compared with the Bureau developed cationic flocculant-caprylic acid-glycol ester defoamer reagent scheme. Results indicate that the Bureau reagent scheme renders residual insols, not removed by flotation, inert during subsequent potash rougher flotation.
Insol slimes concentrate slurries were dilute, ranging from 6 to 8 percent solids. Filtration was therefore investigated as a method of recovering the large amounts of brine entrained in these concentrates. Comparison of an insol slimes flotation concentrate with a flocculated, mechanically deslimed product using the Buchner funnel apparatus is presented. The marked increase in filtration rate observed for the flotation concentrate was due to entrained air in the floated floccules producing a permeable filter cake.
Potash feldspar ore dressing equipment is a typical non-metallic ore beneficiation equipment. The general selection of potash feldspar equipment includes: jaw crusher, ball mill, classifier, magnetic separator, mixing tank, flotation machine, high gradient magnetic Equipment, etc. Henan Xingyang Mining Machinery Factory as a professional mineral processing equipment manufacturers more than 30 years, according to customer needs and actual conditions, can provide ore petrochemical inspection, beneficiation experiment, process design, complete equipment manufacturing, equipment installation and follow-up Equipment operations and other EPC work for the entire K-feldspar mineral processing project.
Alternatively, slimes can be floated ahead of potash flotation. Flotation recoveries of sylvite are commonly in the range of 85%, while losses can occur in slimes, flotation tailings and make-up of process brine. Ores containing free coarse-grained sylvite are generally screened, whereas both fine and coarse fractions are conditioned and floated separately.
The unique features of potash flotation include solubility of sylvite in water, the size of particles floated and fast kinetics. Particles up to 2.3 mm can be floated and about 50% of flotation feed can be removed in the rougher stage in few minutes. The main challenges in potash flotation are the recovery of potash from slimes, flotation efficiency in the presence of carnallite and recovery of coarse potash grains. A review of potash flotation shows that there is still room for improvement in both coarse and fine potash flotation.
The present paper reviews the most significant flotation parameters including reagent type and dosage, flotation circuits, flotation equipment size and new developments in potash flotation. The latter include new reagents, flotation technologies (Hydrofloat, Jameson and column cells) larger flotation cells and slimes flotation.
The Flotation Process Can Maximize The Enrichment Of Gold In Sulfide Minerals, And The Tailings Can Be Directly Discarded, And The Beneficiation Cost Is Low. 2. Gravity Separation Processing In Addition To The Flotation Process, The Gold Ore Gravity Separation Process Is Also Mostly Used In Gold Ore Dressing Plants. For Gold Mines Where The ...
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China has abundant feldspar resources, mainly potash feldspar, but few feldspar minerals meet industrial needs. Most feldspar ores also contain quartz, mica, rutile, magnetite, hematite, limonite, and some even contain minerals such as apatite, pyrite, tourmaline, etc. In order to improve the industrial value of feldspar, its separation and impurity removal are essential.
The crushing operation of potash feldspar mainly includes crushing and grinding, which can be divided into dry and wet methods. Generally, the efficiency of wet grinding is higher than that of dry grinding, and over-grinding is less likely to occur. This step should not only meet the requirements of the impurity removal process but also meet the requirements of product size.
The purpose of the washing operation is mainly to remove impurities such as clay, fine mud and mica in potassium feldspar, reduce the content of F2O3 in potash feldspar, and increase the potassium and sodium content. This step is mainly used for weathered granite or feldspathic potassium feldspar ore. It uses the vibrating screen or washing tank to separate impurities from coarse-grained feldspar under the action of water flow.
The purpose of desliming is to remove the primary slime in potash feldspar ore and the slime from the grinding stage through equipment such as desliming buckets, hydrocyclones, etc. This slime will affect the subsequent flotation, magnetic separation and other separation operations. Especially for the flotation using amine collectors, this slime will not only reduce the separation effect but also consume a large amount of collector.
Since the iron minerals, biotite, tourmaline, etc. in potash feldspar have certain magnetic properties, magnetic separation is an important separation process for feldspar separation. Generally, these minerals have relatively weak magnetic properties, so the strong magnetic separation process and equipment can be used.
Flotation has a good effect on improving the quality of potash feldspar products. It can not only remove iron and titanium minerals in potash feldspar, but also realize the separation of feldspar and quartz. For different impurities, the flotation reagents used are different.
(1) When separating potassium feldspar and mica, reverse flotation process is often used, which can reduce the loss of feldspar in mica flotation. Generally, reverse flotation is used under acidic or alkaline conditions, but a majority of processing plants mostly use amine cationic collectors for reverse flotation under acidic conditions.
Acid leaching is also an effective way to remove potassium feldspar impurities. High-concentration sulfuric acid is often used for leaching at a high temperature for a long time to remove iron impurities. It is often suitable for impurities in potassium feldspar with a fine embedded crystal structure.
For the hard-to-select potash feldspar ore with high iron content or some iron minerals penetrating the feldspar cleavage in the form of iron staining, a single processing method is difficult to meet requirements. Then a combined processing process, such as magnetic-flotation separation, reverse flotation-strong magnetic separation, etc., can often achieve better separation effects than a single processing method.
After the potassium feldspar concentrate product is obtained by separation, the potash feldspar fine powder is obtained as the product directly by thickening, filtering and dewatering with a thickener. The tailings produced in the process of separation can be used for resource utilization or dry stacking through tailings re-processing and dry discharge.
The above are the processes of potash feldspar. In actual production, it should be noted that the mineral composition of potash feldspar, product requirements and other conditions have an important influence on the selection of its process. Therefore, before the construction of the processing plant, it is necessary to conduct processing tests. The process flow and supporting equipment should be selected scientifically and reasonably according to the test results to achieve the ideal benefits.
Salt Lake Potash expects to commission the utilities, conversion circuit, crystallisers, flotation circuits, and dryer during the coming weeks. These will be done prior to the full load commissioning and production of sulphate of potash in the June quarter.
Salt Lake Potash CEO Tony Swiericzuk said: Commencing commissioning of Australias first Sulphate of Potash processing plant is a major milestone for SO4 and testament to the hard work of our owners team and GR Engineering Services.
Powering the front-end plant commissioning at the Lake Way project are 2MW diesel generators. Salt Lake Potash said that the diesel generators will continue to be used for advancing the commissioning activities in the coming weeks.