Interactive effects of the type of milling media and CuSO4 addition on the flotation performance of sulphide minerals from Merensky ore Part II: Froth stability
International Journal of Mineral Processing
Hacettepe University, Department of Mining Engineering, Beytepe 06532, Ankara, Turkey; University of Cape Town, Mineral Processing Research Unit, Department of Chemical Engineering, Rondebosch 7701, Cape Town, South Africa
The limitations of pulp chemistry measurements in the flotation of a platinum group mineral (PGM) bearing Merensky ore were demonstrated in Part 1 of this article. In this paper the importance of the contribution of the froth structure due to changing froth stability is analysed using the batch flotation data. The effects of mild steel (MS) and stainless steel (SS) milling media and the addition of copper sulphate on the flotation performance of the sulphide minerals in Merensky ore have been evaluated in relation to the changes in stability of the froth phase. The effects of pulp chemistry and froth stability on the flotation of sulphide minerals were distinguished by using two different rate constants (kt and kw). The rate constant (k w) calculated as a function of cumulative water recovery was used to describe characteristics of froth phase and kt was calculated as a function of flotation time. The results revealed that the type of grinding media and copper sulphate addition had an interactive effect on the froth stability. While mild steel (MS) milling increased the froth stability due to the presence of hydrophilic iron hydroxides and colloidal metallic iron, the addition of copper sulphate reduced the stability, especially with stainless steel (SS) milling. Copper sulphate addition had a dual role in the flotation of Merensky ore in that it caused destabilisation of the froth zone as well as activation of selected sulphide minerals. The dominant effect was found to depend on the type of milling media and floatability of the mineral in question and this work has demonstrated the importance of using a combination of measurements to evaluate flotation performance holistically. © 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Carbon steel; Comminution; Flotation; Grinding (comminution); Inorganic acids; Platinum compounds; Pulp; Stainless steel; Copper sulphate; Froth stability; Iron hydroxides; Milling media; Sulfide minerals; Carbon Steel; Pulps