Publications Repository - Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf
Fine or coarse particle flotation in mineral processing? A critical assessment of the recent flotation developments
Hassanzadeh, A.; Safari, M.
Recent advances in the froth flotation circulate around whether fine or coarse particulate systems. After a century of flotation’s application to mining industry, two completely different strategies have been introduced for processing purposes. One includes pursuing the treatment of fine particles due to reduction of cut-off grades, facing with complex and poly-mineralized ores as well as achieving the acceptable degree of mineral liberation degrees using e.g. pneumatic cells such as Jameson, Imhof, oscillating grid flotation cell (OGC), Concorde and reactor/separator cell. The other school of mind deals with the coarse particle processes mainly owing to the low required energy usages employing e.g. flash, fluidized bed, hydrofloat, OGC, NovaCell and Reflux flotation cells.
These two believes have not been addressed in the literature at all. This study endeavours to evaluate these two ideologies critically considering existing technological elaborations, water and energy usages, material handling, maintenance, kinetics and circuit design. Finally, PGM, chromite and gold flotation processes were illustrated as fine treatment case studies comparing with the copper flotation given as an example of coarse flotation. It is revealed that the incorporation of coarse grinding apparatuses, mineralogical techniques together with the technologically applicable classification systems and adapted simulator tools are urgently needed for coarse flotation as the future requirement for mining industries. However, fine flotation may remain as the main focus of re-processing tailings.
Keywords: Flotation cells; Fine and coarse particles; Technology development; Kinetics
Contribution to proceedings
IMPC 2020 - XXX International Mineral Processing Congress, 18.-23.10.2020, Cape Town, South Africa